I am very pleased to share that a new special issue of Sociologia Ruralis edited by Damian Maye and me is now online: Understanding Sustainable Food System Transitions: Practice, Assessment and Governance.
The Special Issue provides theoretical insights and advancements into sustainability transitions through empirically grounded and informed investigations of food system practices. The papers conﬁrm, following Hinrichs (2014, p. 143), that ‘numerous opportunities exist to forge more productive links between work on food systems change and the broad and growing sustainability transitions ﬁeld’.
The Special Issue brings together 8 articles grouped together around two themes:
- Examining relations between AFN practices and transition;
- Opening up measures and assessment practices for sustainability transitions.
Taken as a whole, the Special Issue advances discussions and thinking on alternative food practices and sustainability, opening up the debate not only on how to identify and analyse ‘alternative food practices’ in Europe, and beyond, but also on sustainability assessment metrics, governance processes and what counts as ‘sustainable’ in sustainability transitions.
Contents of the Special Issue
Understanding Sustainable Food System Transitions: Practice, Assessment and Governance Damian Maye and Jessica Duncan
Theme 1: Examining Relations Between AFN Practices and Transition
Theme 2: Opening Up Measures and Assessment Practices for Sustainable Food Transitions
Registration is now open for the Amsterdam Symposium on History of Food 2017: Making Sense of Taste
Friday 17 November – Saturday 18 November 2017
Venue: Aula of the University of Amsterdam
Registration is now open on this website. We kindly invite you to register now. Do you have any questions? Please contact us.
From which angle does a scholar approach the concept of taste? Is it primarily an objective, chemical quality, or should it be considered a product of culture? And are these perspectives wholly incompatible? The physical quality and flavour of food and drink preoccupy molecular biologists, gastronomic professionals, and bon vivants. Chemists, among others, construe classification systems, aspiring to help us understand the complexity and the possibilities of flavour. Mediators and their audiences may oftentimes embrace subjectivity, by detailing their intimate and embodied experience of taste. Neither approach is new: historically, classification systems have had major cultural and religious significance, whereas the conception of ‘good’ food – as opposed to ‘bad’ food – and its application in mechanisms of social distinction is at least as old as class-based societies themselves. Clearly, discussions about taste have always been informed by an array of physiological and psychological experiences, not just our palates.
I am very happy to have contributed to a chapter in this exciting new book:
Feeding Paradise? Corporeal Food Citizenship in the Galapagos
Christine Franke, Jessica Duncan, and Stephen Sherwood
Don’t forget to ask your libraries to order it!
The Journal of Peasant Studies has just published a new Special Issues: Soy production in South America: Globalization and New Agroindustrial Landscapes. The Guest editors are Gustavo de L. T. Oliveira and Susanna B. Hecht.
The entire collection (15 articles) is freely available for a limited time!
Summary of the Issue:
Soy in South America constitutes one of the most spectacular booms of agroindustrial commodity production in the world. It is the pinnacle of modernist agroindustrial practices, serving as a key nexus in food-feed-fuel production that underpins the agribusiness-conservationist discourse of “land sparing” through intensification. Yet soy production is implicated in multiple problems beyond deforestation, ranging from pesticide drift and contamination, social exclusion and conflicts in frontier zones, concentration of wealth and income among the largest landowners and corporations. This volume explores in depth the complex dynamics of soy production from its diverse social settings to its transnational connections, examining the politics of commodity and knowledge production, the role of the state, and the reach of corporate power in everyday life across soy landscapes in South America. Ultimately, the collection encourages us to search and struggle for agroecological alternatives through which we may overcome the pitfalls of this massive transnational capitalist agroindustry.
The Routledge Handbook of Food and Nutrition Security has just been published.
The Handbook was edited by Bill Pritchard, Rodomiro Ortiz and Meera Shekar and includes great contributions.
The concept of food and nutrition security has evolved and risen to the top of the international policy agenda over the last decade. Yet it is a complex and multi-faceted issue, requiring a broad and inter-disciplinary perspective for full understanding. This Handbook represents the most comprehensive compilation of our current knowledge of food and nutrition security from a global perspective. It is organized to reflect the wide scope of the contents, its four sections corresponding to the accepted current definitional frameworks prevailing in the work of multilateral agencies and mainstream scholarship.
The first section addresses the struggles and progression of ideas and debates about the subject in recent years. The other sections focus on three key themes: how food has been, is and should be made available, including by improvements in agricultural productivity; the ways in which politico-economic and social arenas have shaped access to food; and the effects of food and nutrition systems in addressing human health, known as food utilisation. Overall, the volume synthesizes a vast field of information drawn from agriculture, soil science, climatology, economics, sociology, human and physical geography, the nutrition and health sciences, environmental science and development studies.
For more information, including a discount code! check out this PDF Routledge Handbook of Food and Nutrition Security (2)
Food security is a “wicked” development problem which is deeply political and for which there is no single solution. Re-imagining how to reshape the existing governance arrangements that have facilitated a world where more than one billion people are obese, and almost another one billion are under-nourished at a time of increased resource scarcity and climate change, requires deliberate and committed politicization of related policies.
One challenge is that while development is inherently political the governance arrangements (formal and informal) that coordinate development practices are often organised in ways that have de-policising effects. More concretely, when it comes to food security governance trends towards multi-stakeholder platforms, data-driven indicators with related monitoring and evaluation frameworks, and consensus-based decision-making processes, serve to conceal relations of power and the agendas of particular actors in the name of consultation, technocracy, and democracy.
This panel invites papers that:
– Identify and analyse ways in which actors, especially civil society and social movements insert politics and issues of power into governance spaces;
– Reflect on similarities, differences and interconnections across the practices, tactics and strategies used by actors to politicise the space and to push for alternatives to the dominant food systems.
– Comment and advance theorizing on emerging trends across the debates of food governance and the potential of civil society to envisage alternative scenarios and affect the policy process.
For more information, and to submit an abstract click here
Call for papers is 21 March to 25 April, so submit soon!