Call for Papers – Reclaiming the political: Reflections on the tactics and strategies of actors in the quest for just and sustainable food governance

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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!


Podcast – civil society participation global governance of food security

The Perfect Storm scholars

As part of the perfect storm seminar series (see poster), Dr Jessica Duncan, Assistant Professor in Rural Sociology at Wageningen University (The Netherlands), gave a seminar about civil society participation in the global governance of food security on the 26th of January at the University of Edinburgh.

She kindly made the time to talk to me (Sara) about her seminar and research when she was in Edinburgh. You can find the result of this conversation in a podcast. Click HERE to listen to it.

Podcast structure

We talk about her seminar and research until around 24:40 min. From that point onwards we discuss the practical dynamics of undertaking empirical research in general, and specifically on global governance. At 30:00 min she shares her views on interdisciplinary research.

Podcast notes:

You can find out more about Jessica’s research in her latest book: Global Food Security Governance: Civil society engagement in the reformed Committee on…

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Call for Papers: Gendered food practices from seed to waste

Rural Sociology Wageningen University

Call for papers for the Yearbook of Women’s History (2016)

Traditional food festival Pastoralist women at traditional food fair in Gujarat, India  (photo credit: MARAG)

Gendered food practices from seed to waste
Guest editors: Bettina Bock and Jessica Duncan

About the Yearbook

The Yearbook of Women’s History is a peer-reviewed academic annual covering all aspects of gender connected with historical research throughout the world. It has a respectable history in itself, reporting on issues concerning women and gender for 35 years. The Yearbook has addressed topics such as women and crime, women and war, and gender, ethnicity and (post)colonialism. Overtime the Yearbook has shifted focus from purely historical analysis to a broader historical and gender analysis, focused on women’s and men’s roles in society. By focusing on specific themes, the Yearbook aspires that each issue crosses cultures and historical time periods, while offering readers the opportunity to compare perspectives within each volume. There…

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Call for abstracts: “Future solutions for a food secure world”

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Deadline for abstracts 31 July 2015

More details here

Future solutions for a food secure world

The challenges ahead to feed 9 billion people by 2050 are well articulated (and contested), but innovative solutions remain elusive and time is of the essence. One possible reason that solutions are slow to surface is the generally homogenous pool of ideas from which to draw inspiration: neoliberal and patriarchal ideologies continue to dominate the discourse on global solutions. A platform for diverse perspectives on these problems and for proposals of solutions, can identify potential solution pathways that are key to operationalizing timely strategies for a just and sustainable food future.

In this Special Issue of Solutions, young thinkers (under 40 years of age) from around the globe are invited to propose innovative solutions for a food secure world. The Special Issue will provide a platform for emerging scholars to contribute to solutions from their diverse geo-cultural and disciplinary backgrounds. Papers on any topic relating to food secure futures are welcome, including, but not limited to: agriculture, aquaculture, climate change, consumption, energy and biofuels, fisheries, indigenous food systems, labour and migration, pastoralism, and urban food systems.

The final contributions will take the form of “perspectives”: short essays (1,250-2,000 words) on new points of view from thinkers working on bold solutions. Final selection criteria will be based on a combination of quality, innovation, gender balance, and geo-cultural diversity.

Continue reading “Call for abstracts: “Future solutions for a food secure world””

Food Governance is Expanding

Notes from an interdisciplinary dinner

One of the absolute pleasures and benefits of working at Wageningen University is the opportunity to collaborate with some excellent and passionate scholars.

In order to make good use of this situation, a group of us have started to have interdisciplinary dinners: shamelessly nerdy dinners where we discuss problems that keep us up at night. The idea is to share our own disciplinary perspectives on key issues (e.g. food security, climate change, gender).

These encounters have made something very clear to me: solutions to the the big challenges we face demand not only multiple perspectives, but also the ability to understand and process these different perspectives.

This is of course  true for issues related to food governance. And so, to improve the quality and diversity of the content on this blog, and to get to understand issues of food governance from different perspectives, I have invited some inspiring scholars to join me.

Megan Bailey is a fisheries economist and a fellow Canadian who will provide insight into the complex world of fish and fisheries, a key but often neglected sector when we talk about food security.

Stefano Pascucci is an agricultural and new institutional economist who will share stories about agricultural value chains and illuminate the role of organizational dynamics in food governance.

I look forward to the interesting contributions that these two will make and to the quality of discussions that will certainly follow.

Their bios are available here.

3 year Teaching Fellow posts in the UK related to food studies

What: 3 year Teaching Fellow posts  are available with a focus on innovating and liaising across food-related Masters at 5 UK Universities.

Why: The Centre for Food Policy has won a large UK Higher Education Funding Council for England grant to develop an exciting phase of innovation, education and sharing across 5 Universities’ food-related Masters Programmes. The bid was led by Oxford and included City University, Reading and Warwick Universities. They are now hiring post-doctoral students for full time posts (3 year contracts).The 5 posts at the 5 Universities are being co-ordinated by Reading University human relations.One post will be based with the Centre for Food Policy (I can attest that this is a great place to work!).

When: They want to start in the beginning of the academic year. So the appointments process is tight / speedy.

More info here:

Good luck!