The restructuring of the animal agriculture industry in the United States, a response to globalization dynamics within the world economy, has created a new social risk profile which did not exist in this industry prior to the adoption of factory farm technology. Analysis of the CAFO [concentrated animal feeding operation] regulation debate in Kentucky illustrates the political economy genesis of social risk politics accompanying this new technology. The politics of regulatory efforts to ameliorate such risk, an increasingly frequent occurrence in the risk society era, are examined in a recent attempt to promulgate a CAFO regulatory regime in Kentucky. This case study shows how globalization processes within the U.S. agrifood system have engendered local re-regulation responses in attempts to alter the location-specific socioeconomic effects of these processes.

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