The global circulation of food and agricultural commodities is increasingly influenced by the ethical choices of Western consumers and activists who want to see a socially and environmentally sustainable trade regime in place. These desires have culminated in the formation of an elaborate system of rules, which govern the physical and social conditions of food production and circulation, reflected in transnational ethical regimes such as fair trade. Fair trade operates through certifying producer communities with sustainable production methods and socially just production relationships. By examining interdisciplinary academic engagements with fair trade, we argue that fair trade certification is a transnational bio-political regime; although, it holds the potential for reflecting global counterpolitics. By reviewing the literature on the emergence and history of fair trade certification, agro-food chains, case studies on certified producer communities and the certification process, this article shows that fair trade certification is a new governing mechanism to discipline farmers and producers in the Global South by drawing them into globalized market relationships. However, recent studies suggest that fair trade also leaves open the potential for creative iterations of the fair trade idea in producer communities to give voice to their situated struggles for justice. Thus, fair trade constitutes a contested moral terrain that mediates between the visions of justice harbored by producers and activists in the Global South and reflexive practices of the Western consumers. To map these critical developments around fair trade and fair trade certification, close ethnographic attention to the material and symbolic life of certification is vital.
Promises, Pitfalls, and Possibilities
Debarati Sen and Sarasij Majumder
Anna Scolobig, Luigi Pellizzoni, and Chiara Bianchizza
regard, the way in which relevant trade-offs are acknowledged and dealt with as well as the local policy context are crucial. It must be stressed from the outset that our study has an exploratory character, which entails limits in terms of robustness of
Fredy B.L. Tobing and Asra Virgianita
political ties but also on growing trade figures and better economic relations. Shared values and solidarity, which had been the hallmark of Indonesia's relations with Latin American countries, might no longer be the driving forces in establishing deeper
The Social Worlds of Wheat
that many individuals around the world have an intimate connection with in their day-to-day lives, and global, the focus of an international commodity trade. Indeed more wheat is traded on international markets than any other grain ( FAS 2015 ). Yet
Climate Change Policy in a Globalizing World
The cap-and-trade system introduced by the European Union (EU) in order to comply with carbon emissions reduction targets under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Kyoto Protocol (1997) has in some instances led to the opposite outcome of the one intended. In fact, the ambitious energy and climate change policy adopted by the EU-known as the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS)-has led to carbon leakage and in some instances to relocation or a shi in production of energy-intensive manufacturing to parts of the world where carbon reduction commitments are not in effect. EU business organizations state that corporate strategies are now directed toward expanding production overseas and reducing manufacturing capacity in the Union due to its carbon constraints. As the EU has been “going-it-alone“ with mixed success in terms of complying with the Kyoto Protocol's binding emissions reduction targets, the net outcome of the ETS market-based climate change policy is more rather than less global CO2 emissions.
Geographical Indications, Rural Development, and the Environment
Fabio Parasecoli and Aya Tasaki
The article highlights relevant issues within the global debate on geographical indications, as they relate to food products. Geographical indications, a form of intellectual property designated by considering principally the place of origin of products, have become a hot topic among producers, activists, economists, and politicians worldwide. Commercial and legal issues related to them have generated complex negotiations in international organizations and national institutions, while their cultural aspects have stimulated theoretical debates about the impact of global trade on local identities. Geographical indications could become a valid tool to implement community-based, sustainable, and quality-oriented agriculture, depending on the sociopolitical environment and whether they are relevant for the producers involved, affordable in terms of administrative and management costs, and applicable on different scales of production. The article also explores the environmental impact of geographical indications and their potential in ensuring the livelihood of rural communities in emerging economies and promoting sustainable agricultural models.
The New Conservation, Big Data Ecology, and the Valuation of Nature
The Anthropocene has been a generative concept in recent years and its influence can be felt across a wide range of fields. New Conservation and big data ecology are interrelated trends in ecology and conservation science that have been influenced by the technological developments and social concerns of the yet-to-be ratified Anthropocene epoch. Advocates of these ideas claim that they will revolutionize conservation science and practice, however they share many of the same underlying economic metaphors as the frameworks they seek to replace. The use of economic concepts, such as value, allows ecological science to be made legible outside of scientific communities, but that legibility places limitations on the possibilities for thinking about conservation outside of a market-based framework. If there is to be a threshold moment for new ecological thought, it will need to overcome the ideological limitations of valuation.
Cases of EU and East-Asian inter-regional engagement
Thomas Henökl and Michael Reiterer
English abstract: Inter-regional orchestration is one possible strategy to shape global governance agendas, to coordinate international norm setting and contribute to a negotiated international order. The European Union has been engaging in various international, multilateral and inter-regional settings seeking cooperation with state and non-state actors striving for a multipolar and, to some extent post-Westphalian, system, based on democratic global governance structures and the rule of law among nations. Europe's interests, it is frequently argued, are best served by a stable set of relations, allowing for political and economic cooperation, trade and mutual respect. At the same time, the EU may have a system-inherent bias for regional cooperation. This contribution asks which are the innovative policy means to build multilateral governance structures, and what does the EU do to promote these with its partners around the world, and in particular in Asia and in the East-Asian sub-region. By adopting a behavioral approach and analyzing the mechanisms and instruments of EU engagement in Asia, this article contributes an organizational perspective on EU external governance and its multi-level foreign policy architecture to the geopolitical debates on the EU's role in Asian regional development.
Spanish abstract: Una posible estrategia para organizar las agendas de gobernanza global, coordinar el establecimiento de normas internacionales y contribuir a un orden internacional negociado es la orquestación interregional. La Unión Europea (UE) ha participado en varios foros internacionales e interregionales que buscan cooperar con actores estatales y no gubernamentales, aspirando a establecer un sistema multipolar , basado en el Estado de derecho y en estructuras de gobernanza democrática global. En este sentido, se e afirma que, probablemente, la UE tenga un sistema que esté inherentemente condicionado a favor de la cooperación regional. Este artículo se interroga sobre la determinación de las políticas innovadoras que construirán la estructura para una gobernanza multilateral y sobre el papel de la UE para promover políticas de desarrollo regional en Asia y, más particularmente, en Asia Oriental.
French abstract: L'orchestration interrégionale est une des stratégies possibles pour influencer l'agenda de la gouvernance globale, coordonner la création des normes internationales et pour contribuer à un ordre international négocié. L'Union européenne s'est engagée dans des schémas internationaux, multilatéraux et interrégionaux divers, en coopération avec des acteurs étatiques et non-étatiques, aspirant à un système multipolaire et, dans un certain sens, post-Westphalien, basé sur des structures démocratiques de gouvernance mondiale et ancré dans le droit international. Il est fréquemment évoqué que les intérêts européens sont mieux sauvegardés par un ensemble de relations stables, permettant la coopération politique et économique, le commerce et le respect mutuel. De plus, la matrice organisationnelle de l'UE semble être biaisée vers la coopération régionale. On s'interroge ensuite, sur la promotion de l'ensemble de ces pratiques par l'Union européenne avec ses partenaires dans le monde entier, et, plus particulièrement, dans la région de l'Asie de l'Est. Adoptant une approche béhavioriste, cet article examine les mécanismes et les instruments de l'engagement européen en Asie de l'Est et apporte une perspective organisationnelle de la gouvernance externe de l'UE et de son architecture multiniveaux de politique extérieure.
This article is a non-technical review of the economics of global policy on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Quite a lot is known about the likely physical consequences of anthropogenic climate change, but much uncertainty remains. In particular, account needs to be taken of possible catastrophes such as ice sheet melting. How are we to balance the known costs of taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the present against the uncertain benefits of such action for future generations? How convincing is the case for substantial measures to be undertaken now? If the case for such action is accepted, should emissions be controlled via Kyoto-style national emissions targets or by the imposition of carbon taxes? How can the challenges of burden sharing between developed and developing countries be addressed?
Tsing relates her discussions with amateur and professional mycologists. Mobilizing ecological thinking, seeing connections, and identifying the multispecies assemblages of the matsutake trade are among Tsing’s key achievements in The Mushroom at the