Keywords: food sovereignty, La Vía Campesina, peasantries, agonistic democracy, praxis
Abstract: This paper analyzes ‘food sovereignty’ and the movements that work for it at local, national, and supranational levels and at the intersection of markets, governments, and civil society. The goal is to illuminate potential aspects of post-growth socio-ecological systems management regimes. These aspects include: (a) socially and ecologically embedded and politically engaged market activity, as evidenced by ‘peasant’ modes of food production and distribution; (b) deliberative and ‘agonistic’ democratic models for policy construction, as evidenced by internal organizational processes within the transnational food sovereignty network La Vía Campesina; and (c) multi-sited ‘relational’ forms of understanding and institutionalizing sovereignty, as evidenced by the complex of institutions engaged by food sovereignty movements and the ways that ‘power over’ aspects of classical sovereignty are combined with more ‘power with’ and ‘power to’ conceptions emergent in food sovereignty. Although this case relates fundamentally to issues of food and farming, the resulting aspects may be applicable to other realms of post-growth economic regimes. Fundamentally, it is argued that politically engaged movements of producers, whose productive surpluses are invested into non-growth ends with support of governments, will construct post-growth economies.
ephemera, volume 17(1): 119-145