Two pieces of mine have just come out, “Global movements for food justice” on Oxford Handbooks Online, which will be part of an Oxford Handbook on Food, Politics, and Society, edited by Ron Herring; and “Food sovereignty: an alternative paradigm for poverty reduction and biodiversity conservation in Latin America” (which is open access on F1000Research, but a pdf version is here). I’m pretty happy with our F1000Research experience, you really should check them out and, if you’re a researcher, consider publishing with them. Their Twitter handle is @F1000Research. I’ve found them and their representatives to be very responsive and open.

I’m happy that the second paper has not only received two positive reviews as part of the F1000 process, but also has been mentioned and positively received by my colleague Joern Fischer, who has recommended it within the “original” context of F1000, which was post-publication peer-review by well-respected scientists. It’s also currently a featured article at F1000Research‘s homepage.

Abstracts and citations for both papers are below; author’s copy pdfs can be found on my Publications page; and something on them should be appearing in IATP’s blog not too long from now.

This article examines La Vía Campesina (LVC), or the International Peasant Farmers’ movement. The LVC, founded by farm leaders in 1993, is currently made up of 148 peasant organizations in sixty-nine countries. LVC claims to represent the interests of at least 200 million farmers and has been touted as the largest and one of the most important social movements in the world. The article describes the LVC’s fight for normatively defensible values-for a food system reflecting ideals of ethics and justice-and its quest to develop defensible lifespaces for small farmers in terms of socioeconomic, ecological, and political autonomy. It also examines how their aims and tactics align with current scholarship on the issues of sustainability and autonomy.

  • M. J. Chappell, H. K. Wittman, C. M. Bacon, B. Ferguson, L. García Barrios, R. García Barrios, D. Jaffee, J. Lima, V. E. Méndez, H. Morales, L. Soto-Pinto, J. H. Vandermeer, and I. Perfecto. (2013). “Food sovereignty for poverty reduction and biodiversity conservation in Latin America.” [v1; ref status: indexed,]. F1000Research, Vol. 2(235). DOI: 10.12688/f1000research.2-235.v1.

Strong feedback between global biodiversity loss and persistent, extreme rural poverty are major challenges in the face of concurrent food, energy, and environmental crises. This paper examines the role of industrial agricultural intensification and market integration as exogenous socio-ecological drivers of biodiversity loss and poverty traps in Latin America. We then analyze the potential of a food sovereignty framework, based on protecting the viability of a diverse agroecological matrix while supporting rural livelihoods and global food production. We review several successful examples of this approach, including ecological land reform in Brazil, agroforestry, milpa, and the uses of wild varieties in smallholder systems in Mexico and Central America. We highlight emergent research directions that will be necessary to assess the potential of the food sovereignty model to promote both biodiversity conservation and poverty reduction.

My thanks go to my co-authors, friends, supporters, editors and reviewers for these two pieces. Thanks especially to Ivette Perfecto, one of my mentors, and who originally invited me to collaborate on what became the F1000 article.

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