Drawing from ethnographic data gathered over the last year, the paper you're about to read is an incipient attempt to trace a few of these threads through to an end-point, or at least a good point to pause.
Around the world, rural social movements and urban food activist-citizens have proposed that food sovereignty has the potential to be the foundation of an alternative food system that can transcend the deep-seated social, economic and ecological contradictions of the global food economy.
Using the case study of the 2012 illegal occupation of farmland owned by the University of California (“Occupy the Farm”), this paper investigates the promises and practical limits of constructing food sovereignty through direct action in the global North. Many grassroots activists find inspiration in the work of the Landless Peasant Movement (MST), La Via Campesina, and the concept(s) of Food Sovereignty (FS); many also express desires to transcend the market/state dichotomy through the creation of “commons”.
What are the class-differentiated implications of food sovereignty in a zone of ecological crisis—Bangladesh’s coastal Khulna district? Much land in this deltaic zone that had previously been employed for various forms of peasant production has been overrun and transformed by the introduction of brackish-water shrimp aquaculture.
Fisheries systems are widely considered to be ‘in crisis’ in both economic and ecological terms, a considerable concern given their significance to food security, international trade and employment the world over. The most common explanation for the crisis suggests that it is caused by weak and illiberal property regimes.
Rather than contextualizing access to food as a failure on the part of affluent countries to provide a framework for securing the right to food, affluent countries (and their citizens) should recognize how we are actively exacerbating global hunger and malnutrition.
What are farmers’ experiences with newly established seed markets for improved varieties in Sahelian West Africa? Market-oriented development approaches frame agricultural systems in dichotomous terms of modern or traditional, efficient or inefficient, and do not account for ongoing learning and adaptation by farmers
Food sovereignty identifies the state and capital as complicit in the inequities and injustices in the corporate food regime, including and especially the alienation between producers from consumers. Among food sovereignty’s many demands, is a call to a return power and control in the food system to producers and consumers through decentering the power of transnational capital. The literature on food sovereignty lacks engagement with theories of sovereignty as an explanatory resource, and thus strategies to achieve its aims may lack key insights into political power.
A feminist analysis of global and local food security and sovereignty through utilizing feminist theoretical interventions. Feminist theoretical interventions include feminist analysis of neoliberalism, social reproduction and care, intersectionality, feminist political ecology, and “another world feminism.”
In the era of “contemporary colonialism,” food sovereignty for indigenous peoples is a necessary struggle for cultural survival. In a wealthy country like Canada, Indigenous populations are deprived of basic necessities needed to maintain health, living in a state that institutionalizes poverty.
This paper presents outlines of a theoretical approach to food systems that attempts to decenter “food” in food-related research, placing social life as the central point of departure for a critical analysis of food systems and the search for revolutionary alternatives.
Alternative food systems have been criticized as neoliberal because they locate social change potential in consumer market behavior, assume functions that were formerly provided by the state, and produce subjectivities consistent with market logics. Food sovereignty, on the other hand, directly challenges neoliberalism by pairing local and regional ecological agriculture with direct challenges to the corporate food regime.
According to the International Food Policy Research Institute's Global Hunger Index, 2011, India ranks 67th among the 81 countries of the world with poorest food security; and this is when some states in the country have registered very high rates of growth in agriculture.
In Latin America the failure of neoliberal policies, and the popular mobilization of social movements against neoliberalism, led to the election of anti or post-neoliberal governments. This has opened up new political space for rural social movements to push for the institutionalization of food sovereignty in state policy.