Food sovereignty, as a critical alternative to the concept of food security, is broadly defined as the right of local peoples to control their own food systems, including markets, ecological resources, food cultures, and production modes. This article reviews the origins of the concept of food sovereignty and its theoretical and methodological development as an alternative approach to food security, building on a growing interdisciplinary literature on food sovereignty in the social and agroecological sciences. Specific elements of food sovereignty examined include food regimes, rights-based and citizenship approaches to food and food sovereignty, and the substantive concerns of advocates for this alternative paradigm, including a new trade regime, agrarian reform, a shift to agroecological production practices, attention to gender relations and equity, and the protection of intellectual and indigenous property rights. The article concludes with an evaluation of community-based perspectives and suggestions for future research on food sovereignty.
A New Rights Framework for Food and Nature?
Addressing Inequality and Neoliberalism
Teresa Marie Mares and Alison Hope Alkon
In this article, we bring together academic literature tracing contemporary social movements centered on food, unpacking the discourses of local food, community food security, food justice, and food sovereignty. This body of literature transcends national borders and draws on a rich genealogy of studies on environmental justice, the intersections of race, class, and gender, and sustainable agro-food systems. Scholars have emphasized two key issues that persist within these movements: inequalities related to race and class that shape the production, distribution, and consumption of food, and the neoliberal constraints of market-based solutions to problems in the food system. This article claims that food movements in the United States would be strengthened through reframing their work within a paradigm of food sovereignty, an approach that would emphasize the production of local alternatives, but also enable a dismantling of the policies that ensure the dominance of the corporate food regime. The article concludes by offering a critical analysis of future research directions for scholars who are committed to understanding and strengthening more democratic and sustainable food systems.
Lessons from Madrid
Marian Simon-Rojo, Inés Morales Bernardos, and Jon Sanz Landaluze
and New Food Geographies The expansion of the corporate food regime since the 1950s has led to the commodification of agriculture, increasingly visible in the global financial markets, and the emergence of a global food movement to oppose this trend
Peasant Agroecological Systems as New Frontiers of Exploitation?
Anne Cristina de la Vega-Leinert and Peter Clausing
regime (based on Philip McMichael’s concept of “corporate food regimes,” 2009). We then turn to Land Sharing’s counternarrative, which in principle rejects the Human–Nature dichotomy and fosters the spatial integration of conservation and environmentally
Civil Society and Urban Agriculture in Europe
Mary P. Corcoran and Joëlle Salomon Cavin
South) set out to transform Madrid’s urban food regime. Crucially, the election of civil society activists to city councils in 2015 has brought about a shift in the political opportunity structure, opening the way for change agents to push forward a more