Debating Food Sovereignty in a World of Emergencies

Efe Can Gurcan's picture
Call for Papers
August 10, 2016 to August 14, 2016
Ontario, Canada
Subject Fields: 
Political Science, Rural History / Studies, Sociology

Session Title: Debating Food Sovereignty in a World of Emergencies Session


Code: IRSA_4 (International Rural Sociology Association, 2016 Congress, ustainable and Just Rural Transitions: Connections and Complexities)


Session Format: Paper presentations


Session Abstract: Around the time of publication of Peasants and Globalization by Haroon Akram-Lodhi and Cristóbal Kay in 2010, the McMichael-Bernstein debate on “food sovereignty” has been reinvigorated with Philip McMichael’s response to Henry Bernstein’s critique of the term (Bernstein 2009, Bernstein 2014, McMichael 2009, McMichael 2014). This debate only added to the flourishing literature that problematizes food sovereignty either in a friendly or adversarial manner (Agarwal 2014, Beuchelt & Virchow 2012, Hospes 2014, Jarosz 2014, Patel 2009, Wittman & Desmarais 2010). We are looking for 3000-6000 word long papers (including references) engaged in case studies that can offer empirically-based conceptual advances and contribute to the present debate on the agrarian question and food sovereignty. Can the concept of food sovereignty help us make sense of the global connections and complexities of socioeconomic and environmental crises experienced by rural society? To what extent has this concept been adopted by grassroots organizations engaged in food politics? What is the status of food sovereignty in their programs? Do food sovereignty movements include primarily peasants, or do they also include peasant-entrepreneurs and/or capitalist farmers and domestic agribusiness? To what extent are these classes establishing or attempting to establish alliances with urban working classes? What are the prospects and limits of food sovereignty for a popular-democratic transition beyond neoliberal capitalism?

Extended and revised versions of selected papers will be considered for a special issue in a prominent development or agrarian studies journal.  


Deadline for paper proposals: November 1, 2015 (Minimum Length: 3000 words; Maximum Length: 6000 words including references)

Announcement of accepted papers: January 15, 2016


Session Organizer(s):

Gerardo Otero, Simon Fraser University, Canada

Efe Can Gürcan, Simon Fraser University, Canada


Primary Contact: Efe Can Gürcan,

Contact Info: 

Primary Contact: Efe Can Gürcan, Simon Fraser University, Canada,

Contact Email: