Yale Food Sovereignty Conference Papers # 65-78
Food Sovereignty: a critical dialogue -An international conference at Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA, September 14-15, 2013
Conference Paper # 65: Perils of Peasant Populism: Why Redistributive Land Reform and “Food Sovereignty” Can’t Feed Venezuela, by Aaron Kappeler
Since 2001 the Bolivarian government of Venezuela has embarked on an ambitious agrarian reform project aimed at establishing food sovereignty and reducing overwhelming import dependency. This project has centered mainly on the reconstitution of the national agriculture system, which was destroyed over the course of the twentieth century by resource extraction, the petroleum economy and waves of neoliberal trade policy. Paying for food imports with revenue derived from the petroleum industry, at one point, Venezuela imported more than eighty-five percent of its food from foreign sources. Venezuela was effectively held hostage to price fluctuations on international energy markets and left in a precarious position. Realizing the tremendous vulnerability this created, the Venezuelan government wrote the concept of food sovereignty into its constitution in 1999 and began to take drastic steps to reduce imports. This article explores the inherent contradictions in the transition from a food system based largely on imports to a model of agriculture grounded in the principle of food sovereignty. It takes as its case study the recent efforts of the Bolivarian government of Venezuela to shift to endogenous food production and build an agriculture sector oriented toward satisfying the food requirements of its majority-urban population. This article underscores the many challenges faced by the populist government after decades of economic policies designed to integrate Venezuela into global markets and the challenges involved in enacting redistributive land reform in this peripheral capitalist context. The failure of the Venezuelan government to recruit a labor force to reestablish peasant agriculture in the interior suggests that food sovereignty cannot be easily applied to every national context and that Venezuela lacked the basic preconditions for a model of agriculture based predominantly on peasant smallholders. This basic incompatibility accounts for the current turn toward a state-run food system incorporating aspects of the factory-in-the-field model and industrial enterprises and populist food distribution programs.
Conference Paper # 66: A Tale of Three Habas Pejtos, Or, How to Make a ‘Plurinational’ Cuisine, by Alder Keleman
Dear Reader: As I write this essay, I am sitting at my desk in Cochabamba, Bolivia. My window looks over a sunny park, frequented by families with young children on the weekends. A few miles away, the mountains that surround the valley rise up sharply, climbing to some 4000 meters above sea level from the approximately 2700 meter elevation where I sit. A handful of books are lined up in front of me, leaning against the wall across the back of my desk. Among the titles are histories of Bolivia, a few ethnographies, ethnobotanical references, and Quechua-language texts. My theory books are back home, in boxes, or pushed to the backs of dusty bookshelves. Apart from my personal e-archive of coursework notes, the only grand theorist who managed to accompany me in extended version is Marx – and even he is filtered through the reading, literal and figurative, of David Harvey on a CUNY podcast. I say this by way of introduction, and perhaps as a bit of a disclaimer. Here in Cochabamba, I have just passed the halfway point of my dissertation fieldwork. All going well, my stay here should result in a multi-disciplinary thesis: part ethnobotany, part food-security/nutrition, and part ethnography. The premise is to explore the relationships linking agrobiodiversity - or native and traditional Andean crops - to food security and food culture, in this city and the nearby rural area of Colomi. Although the components of my project seemed quite clear and discrete prior to fieldwork, from where now I sit, they look more like a jumbled-up pile of notebooks and grey literature, scribbled phone numbers, and sketched-out timelines. Drawing from ethnographic data gathered over the last year, the paper you're about to read is an incipient attempt to trace a few of these threads through to an end-point, or at least a good point to pause. As is perhaps appropriate to this stage in the dissertation process, I'm currently wrangling with whether and how the theory that permeated the first years of my PhD is useful for understanding the complexities of life in situ. For better or worse, I'm also pondering some existential questions about ethnicity, inclusion, and the "strange bedfellows" of movement building. What's written here will likely form the basis of a dissertation chapter, but this seems quite far off into a hazy, post-fieldwork future. Right now, it is more description than citation; more ethnography than theory; more "raw" than "cooked." I hope that these first reflections will nonetheless make some useful contributions to our dialogue in New Haven. My thanks to you for reading.
Conference Paper # 67: Building Relational Food Sovereignty Across Scales: An Example from the Peruvian Andes, by Alastair Iles and Maywa Montenegro
While food sovereignty has begun making promising inroads into the existing corporate food system, it is still working through what, exactly, sovereignty means. At a basic level, sovereignty implies boundary-making – including some groups while excluding others -- yet food sovereignty movements often call for growing cooperation and interdependence. We suggest that many of the core epistemological and ontological challenges of food sovereignty can be helpfully unpacked through the lens of scale. To date, food sovereignty efforts have tended to employ a particular notion of ‘scale’ that is generally defined in opposition to the globalized food system. What appears to have gone missing is an appreciation of the multiple determinations of scale embedded in the concept of food sovereignty. We suggest that sovereignty is an intrinsically relational concept, only taking on meaning in relation to other processes, functions, and forms – not least, other sovereign units. To develop a notion of relational sovereignty, we rub the two conceptual blocks of polycentric governance systems and relational scale together. We then apply relational sovereignty to generate some practical strategies for achieving food sovereignty more effectively, using examples from the Parque de la Papa (the Potato Park) in the Peruvian Andes. Strategies such as developing alternative (interdependent) bases for sovereignty and devising means to achieve sovereign recognition may offer a robust starting point for critical food sovereignty work.
Conference Paper # 68: Food Sovereignty, Gender and Nutrition: Perspectives from Malawi, by Rachel Bezner Kerr, Esther Lupafya and Lizzie Shumba
Issues of gender inequality and undernutrition are not always raised in discussions of food sovereignty. While La Via Campesina has noted the centrality of gender equality for achieving food sovereignty, including a recent discussion to mark the 20th anniversary of the concept, much of the advocacy and focus of those groups promoting food sovereignty has been on other large-scale political and economic factors that influence farmers’ potential to produce food themselves, such as land grabs, climate change or international trade agreements. Despite important statements about gender equality, and attention to the ways in which peasant organizations are organized, there is less emphasis in food sovereignty literature on the myriad of ways in which gender inequality works against achieving food sovereignty at the household level, or how such inequality can work against improving child nutrition. In addition, much of the discussion about food sovereignty remains at the theoretical level, with little empirical research on linkages between food sovereignty approaches and outcomes for smallholder households’ livelihood, health and wellbeing. In the nutrition literature there is ample attention to gender at the household level, and a plethora of empirical research on different nutrition educational approaches, but little attention to political and economic factors that influence child nutritional outcomes. This paper will examine the commonalities between the concept of food sovereignty and gender inequality through the lens of a farmer-to-farmer agroecology project in Malawi. We draw on over a decade of experience of smallholder farmers’ efforts to use agroecological methods to improve food security, nutrition and land quality, using farmerto-farmer educational methods. Our focus on child nutrition improvements led to increased attention to inequalities in decision-making and labour at the household and community level, and we developed several innovative educational strategies to address these inequalities. Many of these strategies focused on dialogue and problem-solving and drew on local concepts of traditional leadership and knowledge to foster change. We also paid attention to particular inequalities such as those experienced by youth or people infected with HIV/AIDS. Discussions about food sovereignty, or broader global patterns of international trade often seemed much more abstract to farmers struggling with food insecurity, HIV and child survival. Advocates of a food sovereignty approach in places like Malawi need to ground the discussion in the daily lived realities of smallholder farming families, including the difficult and complex issues related to gender, child nutrition and HIV. More empirical research and evidence is needed to provide greater substance to the arguments being made at the international level.
Conference Paper # 69: Transcending the Focus on Agrarian Sector, by Anil Bhattarai
In this paper, I argue that, together with building thriving and functionally integrated farm agroecologies and peasant-controlled economic practices, we need to pay serious attention to things that are normally considered beyond 'agriculture sector.' Very often, the crisis of agriculture is presented in terms of the spread of technologies that take farming away from the control of peasants and entangle them in relations of dependency to input traders, their transnational manufacturers and the transnational regime of intellectual property rights. In the process, farmers are dependent on alien markets for selling their surplus. There is another, a more hopeful, side of the story, too. Throughout the world, growing number of farmers has been able to extricate itself from these entanglements by adopting agro-ecological management of farms and by building alternative mechanism for sharing resources such as seeds and knowledge. The spread of farmer-to-farmer network for sharing and innovating alternative technologies have shown impressive results in not only enhancing farmers' autonomy but also increasing productivity and resilience of farms. This paper is based on my year-long ethnographic research in a predominantly small-holder Phulbari village of Chitwan Valley in south-central Nepal. I explored the way a couple hundred farming families have transitioned from high-chemical farming to agro-ecology based organic farming practices. In this paper I seek to show that, while agro-ecological practices and diversification of economic relations goes a long way in enhancing the autonomy of smallholder farmers, the increased privatization of education and health, lack of interest among young people in farming, increasing cost of building homes, and boom-and-bust cycle of land speculation pose significant challenges to maintaining the thriving agro-ecological practices in the coming years and decades. I will finally conclude by making a case for broadening the vision of 'food sovereignty' to include issues related to public goods such as quality and access of education and health care, intergenerational transfer of agricultural skills, and ecological home building.
Conference Paper # 70: Aloha Aina as an expression of food sovereignty: A Case Study of the challenges to food self-reliance on Molokai, Hawaii, by Clare Gupta
This paper explores the concept of food sovereignty on the island of Molokai where the Hawaiian value of aloha aina, or love for the land, guides local efforts to preserve and promote food self-reliance. In the paper, I discuss the nature and origins of the uniquely Hawaiian food sovereignty efforts on Molokai as well as the challenges they face. In this paper, I present two key arguments. First, I explain how despite a history of distrust of and organizing against the state in the name of aloha aina, self-reliance in food on Molokai today requires greater collaboration with, as opposed to isolationism from, the central state. I also show how the conflicting paradigms for “sustainable” agriculture that exist within the Molokai community have precluded the formation of a unified food sovereignty movement. While Via Campesina’s definition of sustainability is relatively specific (1996), in practice, the term “agricultural sustainability,” now ubiquitously used, has come to hold varying meanings for different people. For a community like Molokai, this then complicates what is meant by the rights of peoples to define their own food and agricultural system—the common definition of food sovereignty (Nyeleni 2007). The competing visions of the policies and practices that define a sustainable food and agricultural system on Molokai provide insight for social movements elsewhere that are struggling internally to deconstruct and define what “agricultural sustainability” really means. Drawing on two key examples—marine resource management and controversy over the GMO seed industry presence—the case of Molokai highlights the inherent challenges to realizing food sovereignty in the state of Hawaii and beyond.
Conference Paper #71: Women’s Indigenous Knowledge and Food Sovereignty: Experiences from KWPA’s Movement in South Korea, by Hyo Jeong Kim
This study conducted a case study about indigenous seed preservation movement led by Korean Women Peasants' Association (KWPA) working for the food sovereignty as an alternative to the current global food system. In particular, it examines primarily on how peasant women's knowledge, which had been looked down on was reinterpreted into the main mechanism of the food sovereignty movement by KWPA as one of the major points of their movement. This study deals with peasant women’s positions and contributions which have been rarely appreciated in the process of industrialization of Korea from an agricultural society. It, in particular, focuses on women's knowledge and how it has been regarded under the condition of subsistence production mode which largely relied on their knowledge. The existing studies about peasant women, nevertheless, have placed heavy weight on understanding women's roles and activities to improve their status. The indigenous knowledge of peasant women, which has been treated as useless in the process of modernization, is reconsidered indepth as an alternative knowledge inevitable for sustainable development, but rarely discussed in Korea.
Conference Paper # 72: Food sovereignty: Forgotten genealogies and future regulatory challenges, by Marc Edelman
‘Food sovereignty’ has become a mobilizing frame for social movements, a set of legal norms and practices aimed at transforming food and agriculture systems, and a free-floating signifier filled with varying kinds of content. Canonical accounts credit the Vía Campesina transnational agrarian movement with coining and elaborating the term, but its proximate origins are actually in an early 1980s Mexican government program. Central American activists nonetheless appropriated and redefined it in the late 1980s. Advocates typically suggest that ‘food sovereignty’ is diametrically opposed to ‘food security’, but historically there actually has been considerable slippage and overlap between these concepts. Food sovereignty theory has usually failed to indicate whether the ‘sovereign’ is the nation, region, or locality, or ‘the people’. This lack of specificity about the sovereign feeds a reluctance to think concretely about the regulatory mechanisms necessary to consolidate and enforce food sovereignty, particularly limitations on long-distance and international trade and on firm and farm size. Several regulatory possibilities are mentioned and found wanting. Finally, entrenched consumer needs and desires related to internationally-traded products—from coffee to pineapples—imply additional obstacles to the localisation of production, distribution and consumption that many food sovereignty proponents support.
Conference Paper # 73: The Cunning State of Farmers’ Rights in India: Aligning with Global Law or Emancipating Farmers?, by Dwijen Rangnekar
Global rules concerning dispositional rights in plant varieties present a highly complex architecture with contrasting and, no doubt, conflicting norms and principles. And these tensions emerge from and translate into domestic laws and regulations – and, of course, return to haunt these varied forums. In this respect, the residual flexibility in TRIPS Article 27.3(b) provides WTO Member countries opportunities to imaginatively explore the international architecture and outer contours of a sui generis system. Marking an important watershed in translating some of the rhetoric that circulates at the different multilateral forums – and within social movements and farmer groups – into domestic law is India’s Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Act. This delivers farmers’ rights into national law for the very first time globally (and historically). A watershed heralded by MS Swaminathan, who commented that “India’s law is unique in the sense that it is the first time anywhere in the world that the rights of both breeders and farmers have received integrated attention” (Swaminathan 1998). For Olivier de Schutter, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, India’s legislative architecture stands alongside the Africa Model Law as singular acts of resistance to deepening proprietary claims in plant genetic resources (de Schutter 2009). The drafting history of this piece of legislation is highly contentious – capturing the very idea of lawfare in all its vicissitudes and dimensions. Proposals for rights for breeders circulated in the shadows of GATT negotiations in 1980s. Yet, one draft and another came and went without being enacted. Activists and civil society interlocutors have themselves participated in (formal) legislative drafting – and, have also distanced themselves from the outcomes. The very idea of farmers’ rights has circulated in a number of different spaces and places, including articulations from People’s Tribunals, statements from peasant and farming collectives, and international fora as well. Constituted through these different aspirations, the rights encompass political dimensions whilst also having specific material and cultural aspects. Interrogating the architecture of law that has been enacted – and its operation – the paper seeks to explore whether the aspirations for a farmers’ right have been fulfilled. In doing so, it finds that legal architecture and its operation are indicative of a cunning state – a state that is able to distribute its responsibilities and negotiate away its commitments to particular constituencies. The cunningness is evidenced by the illusionary elements of the rights that have been formulated. This argument will be closed through a political account of the ‘cognitive capture’ and epistemic lock-in that appears in administrating intellectual property rights in plant genetic material. The paper begins with discussion of the manner in which agriculture is transformed by capital – or at least, the dual effects of appropriation and substitution. This 1 Note: The paper is a working draft; neither for further circulation nor citation. Comments and observations are graciously welcomed. forms an element towards explaining how and why seed rights are constituted and constantly diminished. The paper proceeds to critically evaluate the construction of farmers rights in the Indian legal system – noting three characteristic dimensions: authorial recognition, collective rights and seed rights. Therein, noting the complicated negotiating history, I draw out certain problems with the construction of farmers rights. Thereafter, in the final section, I present an argument that the legal architecture – and its operation – are testimony to a cunning state.
Conference Paper # 74: Entitlement vs. Food Sovereignty Approaches: Challenges for sustainable food and nutrition security in the changing agrarian landscape in Tamil Nadu, India, by Hom Gartaula, Kirit Patel, Derek Johnson and Dinesh Moghariya
The present day reality is that the laudable economic growth has not able to conquer the alarming rate of poverty, hunger and malnutrition in the world. The support-led and growth mediated intervention measures provide grounds for farmers to opt for different livelihood options, determining their access and rights to food. Based on the fieldwork carried out in Anchetty panchayat in the northwest corner of Tamil Nadu, India, the paper examines how the entitlement and food sovereignty approaches to food security interact with the aspirations and rights of small farmers to seek diverse livelihoods in the changing landscape of agrarian economy and livelihood opportunities. It demonstrates that while entitlement approach lacks recognition of local actors and remains silent about ecological resources and biodiversity, food sovereignty approach seems too ideological to the rights of local actors and fails to capture the limitation of their freedom of choice and creating strategies to benefit from the contemporary knowledge economy. The paper suggests that any intervention for promoting food and nutrition security must understand the process of changes in the agrarian landscape, as they are based on the context specific ecology of practice.
Conference Paper # 75: Occupy the Farm: A Study of Civil Society Tactics to Cultivate Commons and Construct Food Sovereignty in the United States, by Antonio Roman-Alcalá
Using the case study of the 2012 illegal occupation of farmland owned by the University of California (“Occupy the Farm”), this paper investigates the promises and practical limits of constructing food sovereignty through direct action in the global North. Many grassroots activists find inspiration in the work of the Landless Peasant Movement (MST), La Via Campesina, and the concept(s) of Food Sovereignty (FS); many also express desires to transcend the market/state dichotomy through the creation of “commons”. Through interviews with Occupy the Farm activists, this investigation will show that despite the theoretical strength of the internationally-recognized “commons” framework for land ownership and management and the framework’s potential articulation with FS as a political movement, its weakly developed state within existing cultural, governance, and property institutions of market industrial societies limits implementation of that framework—even in a case concerning public resources and the presence of an active public committed to commons ideals. Practical challenges to the implementation of land and resource commons within polities lacking a substantial peasantry stem from two unanswered questions: (a) how to suitably, justly, and effectively constitute communities of decision-making vis-à-vis land commons (Ostrom’s “user boundaries”), and (b) how to address socio-economic limitations to individual participation in commoning activities when the base for personal subsistence is profoundly enmeshed in the capitalist reality of waged labor. Within the current complex and interconnected nature of industrial society markets and polities, the ideal of resource commoning as taken largely from the global South is found at present to be largely unworkable. However, the case study shows that civil society interventions can be context-specific and therefore effective (rather than purely rooted in general ideals), acknowledge a diversity of approaches to food sovereignty, and accept the limitations placed by a lack of a global North FS commons history on the creation of a ‘rational strategy’ towards creating those commons. In the last section of the paper, we suggest approaches through which challenges can be addressed, if not solved, suggesting that iterative mitigation of specific problems combined with a longer-term vision of cultural change and policy improvement can create sociocultural, policy/law, and social movement conditions conducive to greater FS in the global North.
Conference Paper # 76: Is market gardening compatible with food sovereignty? Insights from a case study of small-scale micro-irrigated vegetable production in southwest Burkina Faso, by Brian Dowd-Uribe, Carla Roncoli, Ben Orlove, & Colin T. West
An expansion of motorized market gardening is currently occurring throughout West Africa, in the same region where the Nyéléni Declaration was signed in 2007. With greater access to water – made possible by the adoption of diesel-powered water pumps– smallholder farmers have been able to rapidly expand their dry season food production. In many ways this phenomenon embodies a food sovereign future: smallholder-led vegetable production for local markets, and relatively little government or multinational influence. Other aspects, however, reveal tensions with the principles of food sovereignty, including the use of Green Revolution technologies such as motorized pumps, improved and imported seed varieties and agrochemicals. The article examines the explosion of market gardening in the Upper Comoé River Basin, Burkina Faso to analyze the implications of this emerging trend for Via Campesina, the leader of the global movement promoting food sovereignty. We compare key global food sovereignty formulations with the productive activities of market gardeners in the Upper Comoé sub-basin in southwestern Burkina Faso, and find that food sovereignty – as outlined by Via Campesina - leaves little room for incorporating market gardening-based livelihoods that depend on Green Revolution technologies. We argue that Via Campesina can create conceptual space for the inclusion of technology dependent market gardening livelihoods by (1) focusing on how market gardening livelihood formation is a historical and self-determined process, and (2) treating its core principles as elements to strive towards rather than as criteria that must be met. Doing so could help Via Campesina incorporate organizations that represent Green Revolution technology dependent livelihoods in underrepresented areas of the movement such as sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), the Middle East and Central Asia.
Conference Paper # 77: Developing tools to assess agri-food systems responses to food sovereignty policies: A conceptual and methodological approach through integration of SES and vulnerability frameworks, by Virginia Vallejo-Rojas, Federica Ravera, Marta G. Rivera-Ferre
Agri-food systems assessments can be performed following different framings, e.g., official and alternative frames of research, each of them linked to different policy options. For instance, policies for food security are specially linked to official frames, while food sovereignty requires of alternative frames. Within an alternative frame agri-food systems, commonly defined as a set of activities ranging from production through to consumption, can be conceptualized as integration and processes of interaction between humans and the agro-environment, i.e. complex social-ecological systems (hereafter SES). Conceptualizing agri-food systems as SES and assessing their future vulnerability to global change and responses to food policies requires of new integrated frameworks. Here we propose to integrate the general conceptual and methodological SES framework proposed by Ostrom (2007; last revision in 2013) with the framework of vulnerability. Conceptually, the SES framework provides a common language and a logical linguistic structure for classifying those factors deemed to be important influences on the SES behaviour. The vulnerability framework takes into account context-specific characteristics of sensitivity and capacity to adapt (at individual and collective level) generated and influenced by multiple factors and process, including the perception of actors about vulnerability for whom, at which scale and to what. Methodologically, the SES framework allows us identifying the boundary and components of SES, moving across spatial scales and institutional levels. The framework analyzes how interactions may produce certain outcomes, such as impacts on food production and self-sufficiency, affected by internal feedbacks and external forces. The integration between the system-oriented and the actor-oriented frameworks allows us analyzing the relationships between vulnerability, resilience and adaptive capacity as properties of the agri-food system, moving beyond the food security official focus. The establishment of this link is important in the research of sustainable agri-food systems to socio-economic, political and environmental changes.
Conference Paper # 78: Rethinking investment dynamics: An alternative framework of the global land rush, by Elizabeth Starr
Despite growing interest in “land grabbing,” the literature remains biased in several key ways, failing to capture the full diversity of land investments that have occurred in the last decade. In particular, this paper identifies and analyzes three analytical blind spots in the comparative literature on land grab: a) the failure to incorporate non-productive investments, including speculation, b) the misguided focus on investor nationality, as opposed to capital flows, and c) the tendency to ignore how domestic actors shape the terms of a land deal. In drawing attention to these limitations, this paper constructs two typologies of land investment—one describing physical changes in land use, and another mapping interactions between investors and developing country actors. Working in conjunction, they help to explain why land deals occur where they do and how they change not only the land itself, but also people’s relation to the land. Building on the work of Borras and Franco (2010) and Hall (2011), who examine how land use changes, the first typology accounts for nonproductive and speculative investments, which were often ignored in early land grab research. The principal contribution of this paper, however, is a second, novel typology, which maps the complex interactions between investors and a host of domestic actors—including the government and civil society organizations. This paper thereby calls for a more nuanced analysis of the bargaining processes that underlie every land deal and also of the potential policy alternatives that may attract investment without sacrificing the livelihoods or lands of vulnerable local populations.
The Food Sovereignty Conference
A fundamentally contested concept, food sovereignty has — as a political project and campaign, an alternative, a social movement, and an analytical framework — barged into global agrarian discourse over the last two decades. Since then, it has inspired and mobilized diverse publics: workers, scholars and public intellectuals, farmers and peasant movements, NGOs and human rights activists in the North and global South. The term has become a challenging subject for social science research, and has been interpreted and reinterpreted in a variety of ways by various groups and individuals. Indeed, it is a concept that is broadly defined as the right of peoples to democratically control or determine the shape of their food system, and to produce sufficient and healthy food in culturally appropriate and ecologically sustainable ways in and near their territory. As such it spans issues such as food politics, agroecology, land reform, biofuels, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), urban gardening, the patenting of life forms, labor migration, the feeding of volatile cities, ecological sustainability, and subsistence rights.
Sponsored by the Program in Agrarian Studies at Yale University and the Journal of Peasant Studies, and co-organized by Food First, Initiatives in Critical Agrarian Studies (ICAS) and the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) in The Hague, Yale Sustainable Food Project, as well as the Amsterdam-based Transnational Institute (TNI), the conference “Food Sovereignty: A Critical Dialogue” will be held at Yale University on September 14–15, 2013. The event will bring together leading scholars and political activists who are advocates of and sympathetic to the idea of food sovereignty, as well as those who are skeptical to the concept of food sovereignty to foster a critical and productive dialogue on the issue. The purpose of the meeting is to examine what food sovereignty might mean, how it might be variously construed, and what policies (e.g. of land use, commodity policy, and food subsidies) it implies. Moreover, such a dialogue aims at exploring whether the subject of food sovereignty has an “intellectual future” in critical agrarian studies and, if so, on what terms.