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Douglas H. Constance, William H. Friedland, Marie-Christine Renard and Marta G. Rivera-Ferre

This introduction provides an overview of the discourse on alternative agrifood movements (AAMs) to (1) ascertain the degree of convergence and divergence around a common…

Abstract

This introduction provides an overview of the discourse on alternative agrifood movements (AAMs) to (1) ascertain the degree of convergence and divergence around a common ethos of alterity and (2) context the chapters of the book. AAMs have increased in recent years in response to the growing legitimation crisis of the conventional agrifood system. Some agrifood researchers argue that AAMs represent the vanguard movement of our time, a formidable counter movement to global capitalism. Other authors note a pattern of blunting of the transformative qualities of AAMs due to conventionalization and mainstreaming in the market. The literature on AAMs is organized following a Four Questions in Agrifood Studies (Constance, 2008) framework. The section for each Question ends with a case study to better illustrate the historical dynamics of an AAM. The literature review ends with a summary of the discourse applied to the research question of the book: Are AAMs the vanguard social movement of our time? The last section of this introduction provides a short description of each contributing chapter of the book, which is divided into five sections: Introduction; Theoretical and Conceptual Framings; Food Sovereignty Movements; Alternative Movements in the Global North; and Conclusions.

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Alternative Agrifood Movements: Patterns of Convergence and Divergence
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-089-6

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Marina Di Masso, Marta G. Rivera-Ferre and Josep-Lluís Espluga

Food sovereignty has increasingly become a common political framework for alternative food movements seeking for radical change in the agrifood system. The transformative…

Abstract

Food sovereignty has increasingly become a common political framework for alternative food movements seeking for radical change in the agrifood system. The transformative potential of food sovereignty is context-dependent, resulting in different approaches and strategies in different territories. In this chapter, we address the case of Catalonia (Spain), as an example of global North food sovereignty movement, in which consumers play a predominant role. Based on five discourses on food sovereignty previously identified as a political proposal for social change in Catalonia, namely “activism,” “anti-purism,” “self-management,” “pedagogy,” and “pragmatism,” we discuss internal divergences within the movement that lead to convergences with other political trends in the agrifood system. Despite the movement converges in several critical points at a conceptual level, such as what is the meaning of food sovereignty, or its understanding of the food sovereignty proposal as a vehicle for deepening democracy, it has strong divergences at the operational level, that is, on how to achieve the social and political change it seeks. A structuralist or agency-focused vision of social change and the relevance assigned to ideological affinity among actors are core elements explaining such divergences. In this chapter, the authors explore these internal divergences within the Catalan food sovereignty movement, which at the same time lead to convergences with other repoliticization concepts within the agrifood studies literature (specifically food democracy, food citizenship, and political consumerism).

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Alternative Agrifood Movements: Patterns of Convergence and Divergence
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-089-6

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Annette Aurélie Desmarais, Marta G. Rivera-Ferre and Beatriz Gasco

This chapter examines La Vía Campesina’s strategy of consolidating strategic alliances in its global struggle to build food sovereignty. After discussing some of La Vía…

Abstract

This chapter examines La Vía Campesina’s strategy of consolidating strategic alliances in its global struggle to build food sovereignty. After discussing some of La Vía Campesina’s initial challenges in working with nongovernmental organizations we focus on two case studies: first, La Vía Campesina’s work with Veterinarios Sin Fronteras, based in Spain, and second, the International Planning Committee on Food Sovereignty. In both cases we analyze some of the convergences and divergences experienced by the social actors in efforts to build strategic alliances.

Details

Alternative Agrifood Movements: Patterns of Convergence and Divergence
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-089-6

Abstract

Details

Alternative Agrifood Movements: Patterns of Convergence and Divergence
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-089-6

To view the access options for this content please click here
Book part

Marta G. Rivera-Ferre, Douglas H. Constance and Marie-Christine Renard

Through a categorisation of the convergence/divergence frame of this book into conceptual, organisational and analytical, and following a ‘corporate environmental’ and…

Abstract

Through a categorisation of the convergence/divergence frame of this book into conceptual, organisational and analytical, and following a ‘corporate environmental’ and ‘corporate food’ regimes theoretical basis, in this chapter we sum up the findings of this collective work and develop some future research needs. The results presented show that at the conceptual level we can outline two different trends regarding alternative agrifood movements and their social transformation potential. In the global South the movements have a more radical/oppositional focus while in the global North the focus is more alternative/progressive. The context in the latter, where the movements are generally consumers leaded and political consumerism plays an important role, is a serious threat for the movements, leading to a loss of the transformative ideal as mainstreaming and conventionalisation occurs. We wonder if it is possible to build a common fighting strategy with a model perspective that allows global North movements to stay radical/oppositional. At the organisational level we conclude that novel tools are required to build common views promoting oppositional strategies. Experiences from the Diálogo de Saberes suggest that this tool built on different principles and values such as horizontalisation, learning, respect or gender perspective, among others, can be useful in this matter. In this regard, further research is needed to look at how alternative agrifood movements deal with gender and whether ecofeminist theories can help in the process of building a common global oppositional strategy. Finally, the analytical level centred in the production system shows that even at this very pragmatic level the food regime applies and that it is the values underlying each production system what defines the options for convergence and divergence.

Details

Alternative Agrifood Movements: Patterns of Convergence and Divergence
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-089-6

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Abstract

Details

Alternative Agrifood Movements: Patterns of Convergence and Divergence
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-089-6

To view the access options for this content please click here

Abstract

Details

Alternative Agrifood Movements: Patterns of Convergence and Divergence
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-089-6

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