As organic food becomes more widely available, great faith is placed on the seal or logo that certifies organic status. This article treats the mark of certification as a starting rather than an end point, critically reviewing literature from diverse national and regional contexts. Exploring questions concerning the extent to which organic certification assists or undermines the goal of ecological sustainability, abets the advance of large-scale agricultural capital, and supports the livelihood of smallholder farmers, the article considers the theoretical foundations, methodologies and modes of inquiry that have guided studies of organic agriculture and certification. It brings this research into conversation with literatures on audit cultures, quality, and with ongoing nature-culture debates. Through critical review of the literature and the author's extensive fieldwork with organic smallholders in northern India, the article suggests possible directions in which the literature may be expanded and advanced.
A Review of Organic Certification
Shaila Seshia Galvin
The Tsetse Fly as Transient Analytical Workspace
Clapperton Chakanetsa Mavhunga
trypanosomes and causing trypanosomiasis), invites remedial or pest control work. Because the problem (tsetse) is highly mobile, the work of controlling it of necessity also becomes transient. The tsetse is, as noted above, at once an organic vehicle and a
Blurred Boundaries and Terminological Problems
Departing from a recent work by Helmut Müller-Sievers the author charts the intricacies of the debate between preformationism and epigeneticism and its theoretico-epistemological repercussions during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Although the most common interpretation equals preformationism to mechanism and fixism, on one side, and evolutionism to epigeneticism and organicism, on the other, the actual picture, once key authors are analyzed, is far more complex. All preformationist theories were, in principle, mechanistic, but not all mechanistic theories were preformationist: they could also be epigenetist, which means that not all epigenetist theories were necessarily organicist. Although all organicist theories were, in principle, evolutionary, not all mechanistic theories were fixist. And finally, all preformationist theories were, in principle, fixist, but not all fixist theories were preformationist. The redefinition of the notion of embryonic preformation in the first decades of the nineteenth-century resulted, in turn, in a new concept of the “organism,” crystallizing a view of nature that combined fixism (at a phylogenetical level) and evolutionism (at the embryological level).
M. Guadalupe Torres-Jiménez, Rene Murrieta-Galindo, Beatriz Bolívar-Cimé, Astrid Wojtarowski-Leal, and M. Ángeles Piñar-Álvarez
inorganic fertilizers. Moreover, as pests become immune to chemical controls, farmers are forced to use more aggressive pesticides ( Díaz & Valencia, 2010 ). However, after some coffee farmers reported that the application of organic fertilizers (manure
Creating Symbols to Destroy Words
Juan Francisco Fuentes
This article deals with totalitarianism and its language, conceived as both the denial and to some extent the reversal of liberalism and its conceptual framework. Overcoming liberal language meant not only setting up new political terminology, but also replacing words with symbols, ideas with sensations. This is why the standard political lexicon of totalitarianism became hardly more than a slang vocabulary for domestic consumption and, by contrast, under those regimes—mainly Italian fascism, Nazism, and Stalinism—a amboyant universe of images, sounds, and metaphors arose. Many of these images revolved around the human body as a powerful means to represent a charismatic leadership and, at the same time, an organic conception of their national communities. Totalitarian language seems to be a propitious way to explore the “dark side” of conceptual history, constituted by symbols rather than words.
What Kind of State Have Lithuanians Been Fighting For?
This article deals with the question of the conceptualization of state (Lith. valstybe) in twentieth-century Lithuanian political thought and its reflections in Sąjūdis, the Lithuanian independence movement, during the years 1988-1990. It is a commonly accepted myth that Sąjūdis restored the language of Lithuania's interwar period and thus the nation-centered, nationalistic paradigm of that period. A closer look at the political discourse of the interwar period suggests that it is misleading to talk about this kind of restitution. Furthermore, considering the fact that it is important to take into account the Soviet paradigms of the state that influenced Lithuanian political discourse for fifty years, the article finds arguments for speaking about a continuation of Soviet political discourse. Thus, along with restitution, it is possible to find continuities while conceptualizing state in Sąjūdis. While analyzing the meaning and semantic fields of those concepts, it is possible to draw arguments about the real nature of the political transformation of Soviet Lithuania.
Onions, Artichokes and 'The Debate' on the Nation and Modernity
Nationalism and Modernism, by Anthony D. Smith. London & New York: Routledge, 1998. ISBN: 0415063418.
Theories of Nationalism: A Critical Introduction, by Umut Özkrimili. Houndmills, Basingstoke: Macmillan, 2000. ISBN: 0333777123.
Understanding Nationalism, edited by Montserrat Guibernau and John Hutchinson. Cambridge: Polity. ISBN: 0745624022.
The Clone in Deryn Rees-Jones' Quiver and Donna Haraway's 'A Cyborg Manifesto'
Rees-Jones' Quiver and Donna Haraway's 'A Cyborg Manifesto' explore how different mythologies of being can emancipate women from and create a dialogue with ordinary female reproduction. Haraway and Rees-Jones use advances in reproductive and mechanical technologies to imagine new modes of being which are not simply products of the imagination, but a recycling of images and debates of concern to women and feminists. In Test-Tube Women: What Future for Motherhood?, Rita Arditti, Renate Duelli Klein and Shelley Minden ask a pertinent question: '[e]ach time a new technological development is hailed the same question arises: is this liberation or oppression in a new guise?' Both Haraway and Rees-Jones explore the rise of new technologies in relation to gender and maternity and gauge the emancipatory or oppressive possibilities.
Promises, Pitfalls, and Possibilities
Debarati Sen and Sarasij Majumder
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.
Francesco Maria Scanni and Francesco Compolongo
revolution and crisis to explain both the genesis and unique characteristics of these new parties, focusing in particular on the hegemonic forms they represent or anticipate. Specifically, our two central hypotheses are: that the 2008 crisis was an organic