INTRODUCTION : Asian food and culinary politics: food governance, constructed heritage and contested boundaries

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Journal / PublicationAsian anthropology
Issue number1
Online published24 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


This introduction outlines the conceptual framework of the special issue. Culinary politics involves a contest over the social organization and cultural meanings of food by a variety of actors: both civil and state, the powerful and the grassroots. In particular, we consider food governance as a form of culinary politics entailing a two-way traffic, in which policies and regulations are set by state actors, while the responses of civil actors often reshape the foodscape and complicate the outcome of food policies. Food governance also points to the reshaping and contestation of collective and individual food identities, and how different power hierarchies can be challenged through acts of food-making. While food is an enduring cultural concern in human life, food governance and culinary politics should be two important concepts for researchers to engage with when examining individuals' soft skills of food-making and the exercise of soft power through food.

Research Area(s)

  • Culinary politics, cultural governance, contested food boundaries, food actors

Bibliographic Note

Information for this record is supplemented by the author(s) concerned.