Isla Farley University of Nottingham Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Title: Constructing Social Justice: Organisational Discourses on Food Security Abstract: Food insecurity is increasingly recognised as a significant threat to global stability. The international response to the issue advocated by organisations such as the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) portrays a unified vision of effective and socially just remedies and solutions, but a closer look at the role of various actors in the discourse on food security betrays a plurality of attitudes, perspectives and approaches. This thesis will explore the food security public discourse in order to gain insight into how the term has been adopted, shaped, politicised and put to work by corporate, political and civil society actors. Specifically, it seeks to extend the sociological theory of issue-framing by examining the issue of food security in a multi-organisational public setting. The research will draw on issue-framing theory to investigate how food security is constructed as an ‘ethical public issue’ by conscious organisational actors (Dahan & Gittens 2010). It acknowledges that different organisational actors have a stake in how public debates surrounding food security are framed, integrating moral language (e.g. justice) into risk-based discourse to legitimise their specific activities and responses. Justice can shift and be shaped through discourse, and this has implications for the way the notion of food security is understood and put to work. The project will map out dominant constructions of food security and justice emerging in diffuse and contested public settings by offering a fine-grained analysis of competing organisational discourses. This will enable empirical understanding of how food security discourse is framed among key organisational actors, and how moral language is integrated in order to legitimise specific actions. Understanding how different conceptions of justice operate within food security public discourse will highlight the important influence of moral language in issue-framing contests. This will facilitate the extension of issue-framing theory by elaborating on the dynamics of its moral and discursive dimensions. Food security is a broad issue, so two important yet contentious subjects will provide the issue-focus of the research, namely large scale land acquisitions (LSLAs) and corporate control of genetically modified (GM) seeds. Very few studies have used discourse analysis to explore the way corporate, political and civil society communications are used with regard to ethical issues in the public domain, and none have addressed the issue of food security in this way. This research makes a theoretical contribution to academic literatures on organisational theory, discourse and morality by addressing the previously unexplored question of how food security is produced as an object of organisational knowledge. Understanding the way food security is discussed in the international public arena could have significant implications for the way policy makers engage with the issue across sectors and how resources are mobilised and channelled to particular ends. Ultimately, this project has the potential to improve livelihoods by highlighting ways in which public policy can more effectively target the needs of those most vulnerable to food security issues.