Thought of the day

Peck and Tickell observe that under the

“asymmetrical scale politics of neoliberalism, local institutions and actors [are] being given responsibility without power, while international institutions and actors [are] gaining power without responsibility” (2002, 386).

Applications for Junior Researcher Task Force

This looks like a great opportunity. If I was not teaching that week, I would certainly apply.

Application deadline: 15 July 2015

The 2nd International Conference on Global Food Security will feature a Junior Researcher Task Force, a team of 22 young people responsible for capturing and distributing via social media the big and recurring conversation topics that evolve under each thematic area. Selected members will attend all thematically-related sessions, use Twitter during the conference, and write blog posts immediately following to synthesize the most exciting research and new ideas. These individuals will also be required to attend a one-day “science communications” training the weekend of 10-11 October 2015.

The organizing committee is now accepting applications to be part of this task force. Graduate students, post-docs, and other junior research staff with an established professional social media presence (preferred) or an interest in cultivating one are encouraged to apply. Selected junior task force members will receive FREE registration (courtesy of the support of CICCA) to the conference, however all other costs must be covered by the individual.

Please submit the completed application form along with your CV no later than Wednesday 15 July 2015.

Information from here

Health and climate change: policy responses to protect public health

A long awaited report from the Lancet / UCL Commission on Climate Change and Health has just been published called “Health and climate change: policy responses to protect public health”

You need to register to The Lancet to access the report but registration is currently free.

There are quite a few references to food security, including this statement challenging assumptions around sustainable intensification:

Panel 4: Food security, climate change, and human health

The provision for global food demand by 2050 cannot assume improved crop yields through sustainable agricultural intensification because of the negative effects on crop growth from an increased frequency of weather extremes. Multifunctional food production systems will prove important in a warmer world. These systems are managed for benefi ts beyond yield, and provide multiple ecosystem services, support biodiversity, improve nutrition, and can enhance resilience to shocks such as crop failure or pest outbreaks (p 16).

There is also a supplementary video “How can we transform climate change from a threat to an opportunity to improve global health?”

The Guardian has also reported on the report with an article: Climate change threatens 50 years of progress in global health, study says

Happy reading!

The Earth is mud, be calm: Reflections on the PhD process

I was recently asked to a group of potential PhD candidates about my own experiences during and after my PhD.

I think in many ways, my PhD was one of the more positive stories I have heard. I would do it again in a heartbeat (I often lament that it was too short). I had taken time off before starting and went back motivated and sure of what I wanted to get out of the process and where I wanted to end up. I had amazing supervisors, an engaging research project that connected with with inspiring supervisors and good funding. I had the tough job of choosing between a post-doc or a tenure track job both at amazing institutions. Continue reading

Special issue on food sovereignty in Globalizations journal

The editors and contributors of the special issue argue that to advance the theory and practice of food sovereignty,  new frameworks and analytical methods are needed to move beyond binaries— between urban and rural, gender equality and the family farm, trade and localism, and autonomy and engagement with the state.

A research agenda in food sovereignty must not shy away from the rising contradictions in and challenges to the movement. The places of seeming contradiction may in fact be where the greatest insights are to be found.

They suggest that by taking a relational perspective, scholars can begin to draw insight into the challenges and sticking points of food sovereignty by training their lens on shifts in the global food regime, on the efforts to construct sovereignty at multiple scales, and on the points of translation where food sovereignty is articulated through historical memory, identity, and everyday life.

This special issue is one of the collections that came out of the international conferences on food sovereignty: in September 2013 in Yale University and in ISS in January 2014.

It’s available free for a limited time: