Call for Papers: The Neoliberal Regime in Agri-Food: Crisis, Resilience and/or Restructuring

Ohhh my. This looks exciting!

Mini-conference organized by the Rural Sociological Society (RSS), Sociology of Agri-food Research Interest Group (SAFRIG)

July 25, 2012,  Palmer House, Chicago Illinois

For the last three decades, the Neoliberal regime has shaped production and consumption processes in agriculture and food. At present, social instability and protest, economic recessions, political uncertainties and ecological degradation and risks have prompted claims that we now confront a systemic crisis. The regulatory mechanisms and patterns of material flow that constitute the contemporary agri-food regime are implicated in contemporary global insecurities, both physical and metaphysical on an unprecedented scale. The capacity to maintain the legitimacy and material coherence of the neoliberal regime is in doubt.

We propose a one-day mini-conference devoted to an informed,constructive dialogue and debate around the thesis that we have reached some institutional and material limit. Is the Neoliberal regime exhausted? Are we at the outset of a new regime? And if so, what are the opportunities and risks linked to the construction of a new regime?

Of course, in contemplating radical restructuring we must account for the historical capacity of agri-food governance to deflect critique, co-opt rivals and sustain the unsustainable. We seek to advance understanding of the evidence supporting claims of rupture of, or incursions to, the Neoliberal model. We also seek to encourage the submission of papers that develop programmatic outlines of pragmatic responses to these critiques including policy initiatives, social mobilization and research targeted at various scales and points of entry.

This mini-conference celebrates the 75th anniversary of the Rural Sociological Society and SAFRIG’s rich tradition of conceptualizing agriculture and food as reflecting and structuring larger developmental processes. We seek theoretical contributions that address overarchingbdebates regarding systemic crisis, including papers that address financialization, ecological overshoot, the status of nation states, transnational agents, market logic and civil society in governance and the prospects for realization of democratic ideals. We also seek empirical contributions that explore particular aspects of crisis and responses, including the potential for continued resilience, a neo-productivist return, as well as the emergence of new alternative models and the scaling up of existing alternative models.

We invite abstracts from all interested people through the RSS Annual meeting webpage ( http://ruralsociology.org/>http://ruralsociology.org/). Deadline for abstracts is Feb. 15th 2012. Include the phrase “mini-conference abstract” in the title of your submission to allow us to distinguish these proposals from general submissions to the annual meeting. Authors

of papers selected for the mini-conference will contribute a 3000 word paper by June 15th, which we will post online to enhance the quality of scholarly exchange in the mini-conference.

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