Competing sovereignties, contested processes: The politics of food sovereignty construction

Christina Schiavoni

Research output: Working paperAcademic

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This study provides a preliminary theoretical and empirical exploration into
how ‘competing sovereignties’ are shaping the political construction of food
sovereignty—broadly defined as ‘the right of peoples to healthy and culturally
appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable
methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems.’
This study was motivated by a lack of clarity on the ‘sovereignty’ of food
sovereignty that had been noted by numerous scholars. Earlier on, questions
focused on who was the sovereign of food sovereignty—was it the state? Was
it communities? More recently, as there is a growing consensus that there are in
fact ‘multiple sovereignties’ of food sovereignty that cut across jurisdictions
and scales, the question has become how these ‘multiple sovereignties’ are
competing with each other in the attempted construction of food sovereignty.
This question is becoming all the more relevant as food sovereignty is
increasingly getting adopted into state policy at various levels, calling for state
and societal actors to redefine their terms of engagement. This study has
attempted to explore questions of competing sovereignties, first by developing
an analytical framework using the lenses of scale, geography, and institutions,
then by applying that framework to Venezuela, where for the past fifteen years
a food sovereignty experiment has been underway in the context of a dynamic,
complex, and contested shift in state-society relations
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationDen Haag
PublisherInternational Institute of Social Studies (ISS)
Number of pages47
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014

Publication series

SeriesISS working papers. General series


  • ISS Working Paper-General Series


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