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Immunization by NeoliberalizationThe strange non-death of the win-win narrative in European agrofuel policy

In the European Union (EU), the narrative of the multiple benefits of agrofuels is reflected in the binding target of a ten per cent agrofuels share in the fuel market. Its adoption in 2009 came during a period of time when biofuels were fiercely criticized and the validity of this win-win narrative was strongly called into question. And yet, the target was adopted and still remains in force. This paper shows how it became possible for the win-win narrative to take hold in the EU, how it became entrenched in policy decisions, and how it was able to overcome the wave of ongoing criticism that began in 2007. It is argued that the neoliberalization of the win-win narrative – i.e., the tying of its validity to the development of global markets and technological innovation – helped to immunize the narrative against criticism and to reinforce the political strategy based upon it.

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