Book chapter written by 2009 DPDF Critical Agrarian Studies Fellow Elisa Da Via’, featured in Food Sovereignty in International Context: Discourse, Politics and Practice of Place, edited by Amy Trauger:
Food sovereignty is an emerging discourse of empowerment and autonomy in the food system with the development of associated practices in rural and some urban spaces. While literature on food sovereignty has proliferated since the first usage of the term in 1996 at the Rome Food Summit, most has been descriptive rather than explanatory in nature, and often confuses food sovereignty with other movements and objectives such as alternative food networks, food justice, or food self-sufficiency.
This book is a collection of empirically rich and theoretically engaged papers across a broad geographical spectrum reflecting on what constitutes the politics and practices of food sovereignty. They contribute to a theoretical gap in the food sovereignty literature as well as a relative shortage of empirical work on food sovereignty in the global “North”, much previous work having focussed on Latin America. Specific case studies are included from Canada, Norway, Switzerland, southern Europe, UK and USA, as well as Africa, India and Ecuador.
The book presents new research on the emergence of food sovereignties. It offers a wide variety of empirical examples and a theoretically engaged framework for explaining the aims of actors and organizations working toward autonomy and democracy in the food system.