Special Issue "Political Ecology, Agroecology, and Food Sovereignty"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2021) | Viewed by 7206
Interests: political ecology; food sovereignty; agroecology; agrarian change; peasantry; rural and environmental politics; social movements; political economy of agri-food systems; biodiversity
This Special Issue seeks to explore a particular interpretation of political ecology—as a theoretical frame for understanding human (social)–nature relations based not in constructivism/idealism or in reductive (vulgar) materialism, but rather in dialectical or historical materialism. As such, this frame constitutes a synthesis of the social and natural sciences by retaining the social specificity of politicoeconomic systems (the ‘political’) whilst recognizing their inescapable biophysical constitution and dependencies (the ‘ecological’). This approach to political ecology (see Tilzey 2018) is distinctive in its emphasis on an integrated, but differentiated, ontology of socionatural relations. This is because it regards social systems as being constituted by, and dependent on, biophysical capacities whilst insisting that these capacities are always mediated, and constructed, by human social relations, power structures, and conceptualizations that are specific in time and place.
Capitalism currently dominates social relations and power structures globally—it is the dominant ‘mode of production’—and political ecology represents a powerful means of understanding the ‘political’ dynamics underlying this mode of production, together with its ‘ecological’ prerequisites and contradictions. This Special Issue is concerned with linking this powerful analysis of capitalism and its ecological contradictions to a political ecology of emancipatory praxis—in other words, how to confront and resolve these contradictions through social relational transformation that constructs noncapitalist ‘political’ structures in alignment with ‘ecological’ capacities. This emancipatory praxis will here focus on two closely related and overlapping approaches to the means of generating human sustenance that is simultaneously socially egalitarian and ecologically sustainable—agroecology and food sovereignty. Thus, agroecology is an approach to farming that ‘ecologically’ attempts to provide sustainable yields through the use of environmentally sound management technologies, while ‘politically’ (as a social movement) it pursues “forms of social action which redirect the course of co-evolution between nature and society in order to address the crisis of modernity” (Sevilla Guzman and Woodgate 1999: 83). Food sovereignty bases itself on agroecology, whilst emphasizing the ‘political’ dimension which inter alia “implies new social relations free of oppression and inequality between men and women, peoples, racial groups, social and economic classes and generations” (La Via Campesina 2003). These ‘political’, emancipatory framings of agroecology and food sovereignty are themselves contested, however, along a spectrum from ‘progressive’ to ‘radical’ proposals for social change.
Given the above issues, and their profound relevance to perhaps the most pressing dilemmas of our time, I invite contributions to this Special Issue. They may address one or more of the following themes—additional, related themes are, however, welcome:
- Political ecology as theory and praxis;
- Political ecology as theoretical foundation for agroecology and food sovereignty;
- Contested understandings and political constructions of agroecology and food sovereignty;
- The agrarian question, agroecology, and food sovereignty;
- National developmentalism, ‘post-developmentalism’, and ‘alternative development’ as framings of agroecology and food sovereignty;
- The peasantry and indigenous peoples as agents of agroecology and food sovereignty.
Dr. Mark Tilzey
Manuscript Submission Information
Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.
Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.
Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.
- Political ecology
- Food sovereignty
- Emancipatory politics
- Post-capitalist livelihoods