Agrarian Studies Conference


Conference Papers

Food Sovereignty: A Critical Dialogue
September 14–15, 2013
Yale University
Luce Hall, 34 Hillhouse Ave.

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Food Sovereignty: A skeptical view

Henry Bernstein
Emeritus Professor of Development Studies in the University of London at the School of Oriental and African Studies.
Bernstein was editor, with Terence J Byres, of the Journal of Peasant Studies, for fifteen years (1985–2000), and founding editor, again with Terence J Byres, of the Journal of Agrarian Change (2001), of which he became Emeritus Editor in 2008. His book, Class Dynamics of Agrarian Change (2010), has been translated to various languages. He is Adjunct Professor at COHD, China Agricultural University, Beijing.


What Place for International Trade in Food Sovereignty?

Kim Burnett
SSHRC-funded doctoral student, University of Waterloo’s Global Governance program.
Her research focuses on the governance of agricultural production and trade, examining how Fair Trade and Food Sovereignty challenge neoliberal structures of agricultural production and trade, and with what efficacy. She has authored a forthcoming publication with Geopolitics on Fair Trade and Food Sovereignty responses to governance opportunities after the global food crisis.
Sophia Murphy
Widely published policy analyst, 2013 Trudeau Foundation Scholar, incoming PhD student, University of British Columbia.
Her policy analysis is on food, agriculture, and international development. Recent work includes analysis of food price volatility in international markets, the effects of trade rules, and corporate concentration on food systems. She is a senior advisor to the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. Sophia has a BA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford University and an MSc from the London School of Economics in Social Policy and Planning in Developing Countries


Farmers, Foodies & First Nations: Getting to Food Sovereignty in Canada

Annette Aurélie Desmarais
Associate Professor at the University of Manitoba.
She is the author of La Vía Campesina: Globalization and the Power of Peasants (Fernwood Publishing and Pluto Press, 2007) which has been published in various languages. Annette co-edited Food sovereignty: Reconnecting food, nature, and community and Food Sovereignty in Canada.
Hannah Wittman
Associate Professor at the Faculty of Land and Food Systems and Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver.
She conducts collaborative research on food sovereignty, local food systems, and agrarian citizenship in Brazil and Canada and is co-editor of Environment and Citizenship in Latin America: Natures, Subjects, and Struggles; Food sovereignty: Reconnecting food, nature, and community; and Food Sovereignty in Canada.


Rural Social Movements and Diálogo de Saberes: Peasant Territories, Food Sovereignty, and Agroecology

Peter Rosset
Researcher and professor at El Colegio de la Frontera Sur (ECO-SUR) in Chiapas, Mexico.
He is also a researcher at the Center for the Study of Rural Change in Mexico (CECCAM) and is co-coordinator of the Land Research Action Network (
Maria Elena Martinez-Torres
A faculty member in the Environment and Society Program of the Center for Research and Advanced Studies in Social Anthropology-Southeast Campus (CIESAS-Sureste) in Chiapas, Mexico
She is also a research associate at the Center for the Study of the Americas (CENSA) in Berkeley, California.


Financialization, Distance and Global Food Politics

Jennifer Clapp
Canada Research Chair in Global Food Security and Sustainability and Professor, Environment and Resource Studies Department, University of Waterloo, Canada.
She has published widely on the global governance of problems that arise at the intersection of the global economy, the environment, and food security. Her most recent books include Hunger in the Balance: The New Politics of International Food Aid (Cornell University Press, 2012), Food (Polity, 2012) and Corporate Power in Global Agrifood Governance (co-edited with Doris Fuchs, MIT Press, 2009).


“Like gold with yield”: Evolving intersections between farmland and finance

Madeleine Fairbairn
PhD candidate in the joint Sociology/Community and Environmental Sociology graduate program, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Her previous research examined food sovereignty as a social movement frame. She has also studied land grabbing in Mozambique. Her current work explores growing interest in farmland on the part of the financial sector, as well as the policy debate that surrounds foreign farmland investment in the case of Brazil.


Risk and Blame in the Anthropocene: Multi-scale Climate Change Analysis

Jesse Ribot
Professor of Geography, Women and Gender in Global Perspective, Natural Resources and Environmental Studies, and faculty of Beckman Institute, University of Illinois.
Before 2008 Professor Ribot worked at World Resources Institute, taught at MIT, and was a fellow at The New School, Yale, Rutgers, Max Planck Institute, Woodrow Wilson Center, and Harvard. He is an Africanist studying local democracy, resource access, and social vulnerability.


Peasant-Driven Agricultural Growth and Food Sovereignty

Jan Douwe van der Ploeg
Professor of Transition Studies at Wageningen University, the Netherlands, and Adjunct Professor in Rural Sociology at China Agricultural University, Beijing.
Professor van der Ploeg has worked with peasant organizations in Peru, Colombia, the Netherlands and Italy. Recently he co-authored an HLPE report on ‘Investing in smallholder agriculture for food security’ that was written on request of the Committee for World Food Security of the FAO. His most recent book is Peasants and the Art of Farming: A Chayanovian Manifesto (2013, Fernwood)


Financialization and the Transformation of Agro-food Supply Chains: A Political Economy

S. Ryan Isakson
Assistant Professor of International Development Studies and Geography, University of Toronto
Professor Isakson’s research and teaching interests are in the political economy of food and agrarian transformation, particularly in Latin America. He has conducted research on peasant livelihoods and the cultivation of agricultural biodiversity, land reform, agro-food certification, and compensation for environmental services.


Achieving Mexico’s Maize Potential

Antonio Turrent Fernández
Senior Researcher, Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Forestales, Agrícolas y Pecuarias (INIFAP)
Timothy A. Wise
Director of Policy Research, Tufts University’s Global Development and Environment Institute
Elise Garvey
Researcher, Policy Research, Tufts University’s Global Development and Environment Institute


Gold for Export? … or Water & Food for Life? The Case of Gold Mining in El Salvador

Robin Broad
Professor of International Development, School of International Service, American University
Dr. Broad has a wide range of professional experience, from international economist in the U.S. Treasury Department and Congress, to work with civil-society organizations in the Philippines and El Salvador. She received her MA. and PhD in development studies from Princeton University. She is author/coauthor of several books including Development Redefined: How the Market Met Its Match, and Global Backclash: Citizen Initiatives for a Just World Economy
John Cavanagh
Director, Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), Washington
Before becoming Director of IPS in 1998, Cavanagh directed IPS’s Global Economy Program from 1983- 1997. He is the co-author of 12 books and numerous articles on the global economy, most recently Development Redefined: How the Market Met Its Match. He led the effort to detail a new global economy in the International Forum on Globalization book Alternatives to Economic Globalization. He is co-chair of the New Economy Working Group, an organization delineating transformative visions of a new economy that serves people and the planet.


Food sovereignty and safeguarding food security for everyone: Issues for scientific investigation

Hugh Lacey
Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Swarthmore College; Visiting Professor, Institute of Advanced Studies, and Research Fellow in the ‘Thematic Project,’ “The origins and meaning of technoscience: Science, technology, values and society,” University of São Paulo, Brazil.
Professor Lacey is the author of Values and Objectivity in Science (2005), and A Controvérsia sobre os Transgênicos: Questões científicas e éticas (2006).


Historicizing Food Sovereignty: a Food Regime Perspective

Philip McMichael
Professor of Development Sociology, Cornell University.
Professor McMichael has authored Settlers and the Agrarian Question (1984), Development and Social Change: A Global Perspective (2012, 5th edition), and Food Regimes and Agrarian Questions (2013), and edited The Global Restructuring of Agro-Food Systems (1994), New Directions in the Sociology of Global Development (2005, with Fred Buttel), Contesting Development: Critical Struggles for Social Change (2010), and Biofuels, Land and Agrarian Change (2011, with Jun Borras & Ian Scoones). He has worked with the FAO, UNRISD, La Vía Campesina, IPC for Food Sovereignty, and the Civil Society Mechanism (CFS). Food Regimes and Agrarian Questions, a volume in ‘Agrarian Change and Peasant Studies’ book series by the Initiatives in Critical Agrarian Studies (ICAS) and published by Fernwood, develops the methodological contributions of food regime analysis, re-examining the agrarian question historically.


Feast and Famine: The Growth of Corporate Wealth and Food Insecurity in Neoliberal Mexico

Enrique C. Ochoa
Professor of Latin American Studies and History at California State University, Los Angeles
Professor Ochoa’s publications include Agricultura y estado en México: Antecedentes e implicaciones de las reformas salinistas (co-editor, 1994), Feeding Mexico: The Political Uses of Food Since 1910 (2000), Latina/o Los Angeles: Migrations, Communities, and Political Activism (co-editor, 2005), Water: History, Power, Crisis, a special issue of Radical History Review (co-editor, 2013), “The Political History of Food,” in The Oxford Handbook of Food History (2012), and “Food History” in Oxford University Bibliographies Online: Latin American Studies (2011)


How to Build Food Sovereignty

A. Haroon Akram-Lodhi
Agrarian political economy at Trent University, Peterborough, Canada; Fellow, Food First; Associated Research Professor, Academic Unit in Development Studies, Universidad Autónoma de Zacatecas, Zacatecas, Mexico; Adjunct Professor of Economics, Master’s in Development Practice program, James T. Laney School of Graduate Studies, Emory University, Atlanta, USA.
Professor Akram-Lodhi’s most recent book is Hungry for Change: Farmers, Food Justice and the Agrarian Question.


The New American Farmer: The Agrarian Question, Food Sovereignty and Immigrant Mexican Growers in the United States

Laura-Anne Minkoff-Zern
Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Environmental Studies, Goucher College.
Dr. Minkoff-Zern broadly explores the interactions between food and racial justice, rural development, and transnational environmental and agricultural policy. Her dissertation investigated farmworker food insecurity in California, with a focus on indigenous immigrant gardeners and farmers from Oaxaca, Mexico. Her current research builds on her dissertation, where she found that a significant population of farmworkers and other first generation immigrants and refugees to the US aspire to be small-scale farmers. In this work, she explores immigrant and refugee farmers’ role in agrarian change in the United States today. She has a BA from Cornell University in Sustainable Agriculture and Development and PhD in Geography from University of California, Berkeley.


We Are Not All the Same: Taking Gender Seriously in Food Sovereignty Discourse

Clara Mi Young Park
PhD candidate at the International Institute of Social Studies in The Hague and a gender and social equity consultant with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
Ms. Park has recently coauthored Governing Land for Women and Men, a technical guide to support the achievement of responsible gender-equitable governance of tenure. Email:
Ben White
Emeritus Professor of Rural Sociology, International Institute of Social Studies, The Hague.
Professor White is co-author “of Agrofuels capitalism: a view from political economy” (with A.Dasgupta, 2010), and co-editor of The new enclosures (2012) and Governing the global land grab (2013). He is a founding member of the Land Deal Politics Initiative. Email:
Presidium member of the Kalimantan Women Alliance for Peace and Gender Justice (AlPeKaJe) based in West Kalimantan, Indonesia.
Julia* is currently involved in a research on political ecology of the Kapuas River in collaboration with Bonn University and Bremen University. She is co-author (with Ben White) of “Gendered experiences of dispossession: oil palm expansion in a Dayak Hibun community in West Kalimantan” (Journal of Peasant Studies, 2012). Email:
*(this is her full name).


Maize as sovereignty: anti-GM activism in Mexico and Colombia

Liz Fitting
Anthropologist and Associate Professor, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada.
Professor Fitting is the author of The Struggle for Maize: Campesinos, Workers, and Transgenic Corn in the Mexican Countryside (2011) and a forthcoming chapter in Food Activism: Agency, Democracy and Economy (2014), which compares anti-GM activism in Colombia and Mexico. Her email is:


Farmers’ Rights & Food Sovereignty: Critical Insights from India

Karine Peschard
Postdoctoral Fellow, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva.
Karine Peschard holds a PhD in anthropology from McGill University (2010). Her doctoral thesis examines the controversy over agricultural biotechnology in Brazil, looking more specifically at resistance to transgenic seeds among small farmers in Southern Brazil. She is currently conducting comparative research on farmers’ rights in Brazil and India. Her research interests are centered on global capital, contemporary peasant movements, food sovereignty, agricultural biotechnology, intellectual property rights and biodiversity.


Culturally appropriate food: Researching cultural aspects of food sovereignty

Devon Sampson
PhD candidate, Environmental Studies, UC Santa Cruz.
Devon Sampson’s research in Yucatan, Mexico examines the links between the biodiversity that farmers manage and household food security. He uses a participatory action research approach and methods from ecology and the social sciences to investigate the many ways that agrobiodiversity supports food security in a risky and changing climate and economy. His work contests the idea that diverse farms are expendable in the project of feeding the world.
Chelsea Wills
A social practice artist.
Chelsea Wills’s works are often collaborative and participatory, and she using artistic processes to shed new light on issues important to communities. She exhibits widely in the United States, Mexico and Europe. She holds an M.A. in education from UC Berkeley and a BFA form UC Santa Cruz.


The Developmental State and Food Sovereignty in Tanzania

Richard Mbunda
Lecturer and PhD student, Department of Political Science and Public Administration, University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Richard Mbunda specializes in International Politics particularly International Political Economy. His recent work investigated the Kilimo Kwanza initiative as an agricultural transformation framework to find out whether it is an opportunity or a curse to small-scale producers, and its implication to food and rural livelihood. The study was funded by the Land Rights and Resources Institute (Haki Ardhi) in 2011. His PhD study is on the politics of food, where he is focusing on peasant agriculture and the quest for food sovereignty in Tanzania.


Large-Scale Land Acquisitions and Social Conflict in Africa

Kai Thaler
Doctoral student, Department of Government, Harvard University, and affiliated researcher, Portuguese Institute of International Relations and Security (IPRIS).
Kai Thaler’s research interests include violence and conflict, revolution, civil wars, regime transitions, and the political economy of development in agrarian societies. He holds a B.A. in political science from Yale University and an M.Soc.Sc. in sociology from the University of Cape Town.


Beyond the Minimally Adequate Diet: Food Stamps and Food Sovereignty in the U.S.

Maggie Dickinson
PhD Candidate in Anthropology, CUNY Graduate Center.
Maggie Dickinson’s dissertation, “Re-Calibrating the Welfare State: Food and the New Politics of Poverty”, funded by the Wenner-Gren Foundation, uses the messy politics around food, poverty and welfare as a lens to explore larger concepts such as emergent articulations of the political, urban class formation, neoliberalization and the state. She has published on food and protest at Occupy Wall Street, women, welfare and food insecurity and graffiti, race and the urban commons.


From Food Sovereignty to Peasants’Rights: an Overview of La Via Campesina’s Rights-Based Claims over the Last 20 Years

Priscilla Claeys
Researcher in Social and Political Sciences, University of Louvain (UCL), Belgium.
Priscilla Claeys recently completed her PhD dissertation on the use of human rights by the agrarian movement La Via Campesina. Her research interests include peasant movements, food and agriculture, human rights, and economic globalization. She is an Advisor to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Olivier De Schutter, since 2008. Prior to becoming an academic, she worked for a number of human rights organizations and development NGOs. She teaches two online courses on the right to food at the Open University of Catalunya (UOC), in partnership with the FAO.


The politics of the emerging agro-industrial complex in Asia’s ‘final frontier’: The war on food sovereignty in Burma

Kevin Woods
Ph.D. candidate, Environmental Science, Policy and Management Department. (ESPM), UC-Berkeley, as a political ecologist and geographer; research analyst for Transnational Institute (TNI), Amsterdam, and for Forest Trends, Washington, D.C.
Kevin Woods has been engaged in research and activism on land politics in Burma for over a decade. His initial research focused on the Burma-China timber trade, but since then has expanded to include research on the country’s emerging agribusiness sector as the frontline of land grabs and conflict. Most of his work has focused on examining Chinese agribusiness in northern Burma as part of China’s opium substitution programme, and its entanglements with drug militias, counterinsurgency and land grabs. Most recently Kevin has conducted participatory action research on farmers’ resistances to land grabs during the current reform period under the new military-backed government. Kevin’s collaborative work with local community activist networks attempts to overcome the problems that our research uncovers.


The ‘non-economy’ and the Radical Dreams of Food Sovereignty

Jim Handy
Professor of History and Chair, Department of History, University of Saskatchewan.
Professor Handy is author of Revolution in the Countryside: Rural Conflict and Agrarian Reform in Guatemala, 1944-1954 and Gift of the Devil: A History of Guatemala.


Capitalism in Green Disguise: The Political Economy of Organic Farming in the European Union

Charalampos Konstantinidis
Assistant Professor of Economics, University of Massachusetts, Boston.
Charalampos (Harry) Konstantinidis’s primary research interests lie at the intersection of political economy and ecological economics. His recent work has examined the socio-economic and environmental dimensions of the growth of organic farming in the European Union, as well as the inverse relationship between farm size and productivity in rural Kenya.


Food Security in a Sovereign State and “Quiet Food Sovereignty” of an Insecure Population: The Case of Post-Soviet Russia

Max Spoor
Professor of Development Studies, International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), Erasmus University; Visiting Professor, Barcelona (IBEI); Guest Professor, Nanjing (NJAU).
Professor Spoor’s research is on transition economies in Asia, such as Vietnam and China, and in Eastern Europe, regarding rural and environmental issues, poverty, and inequality. E-mail:
Natalia Mamonova
PhD candidate, International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), Erasmus University, The Netherlands.
Natalia Mamonova’s PhD-research is on land grabbing in the post-Soviet countryside, land conflicts, responses by the local population, and rural social movements in Russia and Ukraine. E-mail:
Oane Visser
Assistant Professor and Senior Researcher, International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), Erasmus University
Professor Visser recently gained a prestigious ERC (European Research Council) Starting Grant for his research on land grabbing, financialization, poverty and social movements in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union (2013-2017). Email:
Alexander Nikulin
Professor and Director, Center for Agricultural Studies of the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, Moscow, Russia.
Professor Nikulin specializes in economic and agrarian sociology, history of the peasantry, and the current state of farming in Russia. E-Mail:


Cultivating Food Sovereignty Where There are Few Choices

Teresa Mares
Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Vermont; affiliated with the Transdisciplinary Research Initiative in Food Systems.
Teresa Mares received her Ph.D. (2010) in Sociocultural Anthropology from the University of Washington. Her research focuses on the intersection of food and migration studies. She is currently developing a new ethnographic project on food access strategies and food security concerns within Vermont’s migrant worker community.
Naomi Wolcott-MacCausland
Migrant Health Coordinator for Bridges to Health, a Program of University of Vermont Extension.
Naomi Wolcott-MacCausland is currently completed her MS in Community Development and Applied Economics at the University of Vermont, focusing her research on Health Care Access and Utilization of Health Services by Latino Dairy Workers in the state of Vermont.
Jessie Mazar
Research Assistant and Program Assistant for Huertas.
Jessie Mazar received her BA in Global Studies from the University of Vermont in 2012


Water Access, Food Sovereignty and Peru’s Water Regime

Barbara Deutsch Lynch
Visiting Associate Professor of International Affairs and City and Regional Planning, Georgia Institute of Technology.
A development sociologist, Professor Lynch’s current research treats watershed governance and conflict in Peru. In 2012 she was Alberto Flores Galindo Visiting Professor, Pontifical Catholic University in Lima. Lynch has written on Latino environmentalisms and agriculture and environment in the Hispanic Caribbean. She edited with Sherrie Baver, Beyond Sand and Sun: Caribbean Environmentalisms.


The Role of US Consumers and Producers in Food Sovereignty

Molly D. Anderson
Partridge Chair in Food & Sustainable Agriculture Systems, College of the Atlantic, Bar Harbor, Maine.
Molly Anderson teaches on hunger and food security, fixing food systems, sustainability and system dynamics. She is involved in food systems planning and sustainability metrics at the state and regional scales.


Farmland Preservation, Agricultural Easements, and Land Access in California

Zoe Brent
Food First Fellow.
Zoe Brent holds an M.A. in International Relations from Universidad del Salvador in Buenos Aires where her thesis research focused on indigenous rights claims in the context of soy, mining and tourism development in Argentina. Her research interests at Food First include worker and immigrant rights throughout the global food supply chain. At Food First she also began developing Food Sovereignty Tours’ in 2010, served as the first program coordinator and led the first Food Sovereignty Tour to Cuba. This more recent work on land access in California is part of her planned PhD dissertation work, to begin in 2014.


The Temptation of Nitrogen: FAO Guidance for Food Sovereignty in Nicaragua

Birgit Müller
Senior Researcher, LAIOS, CNRS/EHESS, Paris.
Birgit Müller holds a PhD from Cambridge (1986). Her current research explores global governance of food and agriculture at the FAO and agricultural practices of farmers in Canada and Nicaragua. She examines links between agricultural practice, political worldviews and structures of power and global agricultural policies. Among her books: The Gloss of Harmony. The politics of policy making in multilateral organisations (2013).


Food Sovereignty, Post-Neoliberalism, Campesino Organizations, and the State in Ecuador

Patrick Clark
Associated Researcher, Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSOEcuador), Quito, Ecuador, and PhD candidate in political science, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada.
Patrick Clark is currently completing his doctoral research on the Ecuadorian government’s rural development policies and food sovereignty. He can be contacted by email at


With flowers and capsicum in the driver’s seat, food sovereignty is impossible: A comparison of the politics of agricultural policy in two Indian states, Gujarat and Chhattisgarh

Sejuti Dasgupta
Third year PhD scholar, Development Studies Department, School of Oriental and African Studies.
Sejuti Dasgupta has worked in the development sector in India as a researcher and tutored in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) before embarking on her PhD. She completed her Masters and M.Phil from JNU in Political Studies in 2008. Her area of interest is agrarian political economy in India and agricultural policy. Her field includes three states – Chhattisgarh, Gujarat and Karnataka.


The Debate Over Food Sovereignty in Mexico

Guadalupe Rodríguez-Gómez
Full-time Professor-researcher, Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social (CIESAS), Guadalajara, Mexico, and level III researcher, Sistema Nacional de Investigadores.
Rodríguez Gómez has conducted research on Mexican and Spain rural sector, commodity chains, staple food, popular movements against NAFTA and neoliberalism, small-scale farming since 1994. From 2009 on she has been coordinating evaluations of Mexican Public policies for the National Ministry of Agriculture, the Forestry National Commission, and for the National Council for the Evaluation of Social Development Policy (CONEVAL). Some of her publications are La paradoja de la calidad: Alimentos mexicanos en la región de América del Norte (2011); El frijol en México. Elementos para una agenda de soberanía alimentaria (2006); Strategies for resource management, production and marketing in rural Mexico (2000); and “Crisis alimentaria vis-a-vis crisis financiera” (2009).


The agrarian transition and the ‘feminization’ of agriculture

Olivier de Schutter
UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food; Professor, Catholic University of Louvain; Professer, College of Europe (Natolin); member of the Global Law School Faculty, New York University; Visiting Professor, Columbia University.
Olivier De Schutter earned an LL.M. from Harvard University and a Ph.D. from University of Louvain (UCL) In 2002-2006, he chaired the EU Network of Independent Experts on Fundamental Rights, a high-level group of experts which advised the European Union institutions on fundamental rights issues. He has acted on a number of occasions as expert for the Council of Europe and for the European Union. Since 2004, and until his appointment as the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food in May 2008, he has been the General Secretary of the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) on the issue of globalization and human rights. His publications are in the area of international human rights and fundamental rights in the EU, with a particular emphasis on economic and social rights and on the relationship between human rights and governance. His most recent book is International Human Rights Law (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2010).


Food Justice, Food Sovereignty and the Challenge of Neoliberalism

Alison Hope Alkon
Assistant Professor and Chair, Sociology Department, University of the Pacific, Stockton California.
Professor Alkon’s research examines the ways that local and organic food systems shape and are are shaped by racial and economic identities and inequalities. She is co-editor of Cultivating Food Justice: Race Class and Sustainability and author of Black White and Green: Farmers Markets, Race and the Green Economy, as well as over a dozen articles and chapters on this topic.


The Politics of Property in Industrial Fisheries

Liam Campling
School of Business and Management, Queen Mary, University of London.
Liam Campling’s main research interests are in international political economy and uneven development, commodity chain analysis (with an empirical emphasis on tuna), the history of capitalism, and the political economy of development in island states in the Western Indian and Pacific oceans. He is a Book Reviews Section Co-editor of Journal of Agrarian Change, and a Corresponding Editor of Historical Materialism. He also works part time on trade policy and its politics for the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency.
Elizabeth Havice
Assistant Professor of International Development and Globalization, Geography Department, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.
Professor Havice’s work is on the political economy of resource regulation, production and consumption in natural resource systems. Much of her empirical research is on the tuna industry that spans the Pacific Rim. Campling and Havice have co-authored articles that have appeared in Journal of Agrarian Change, Global Environmental Politics and Environment and Planning A. They also recently co-edited a 12 article special issue of the Journal of Agrarian Change on the political economy and ecology of capture fisheries. Both remain committed to policy relevant research and writing on fisheries property and access, the right to food and international trade dynamics.


Scaling Biopolitics: Enacting Food Sovereignty in Maine (USA)

Hilda E. Kurtz
Associate Professor, Department of Geography, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia (US).
Professor Kurtz’s current research focuses on the biopolitical stakes in controversy over access to controversial foodstuffs such as raw milk and un-licensed and –inspected locally produced food. She has published primarily in geography journals such as Geoforum, Antipode, Urban Geography, Space and Polity, Gender, Place and Culture and the Geographical Review. She is currently working on a book about the local food and community self-governance ordinance strategy profiled in this paper.
Heather Retberg and Bonnie Preston (collaborators)
Founding members of Local Food Rules, the organization formed to foster broadening support for the local food and community self-governance ordinances.


Food Sovereignty as a Weapon of the Weak? Rethinking the Food Question in Uganda

Giuliano Martiniello
Research Fellow in Political Economy, Makerere Institute of Social Research, Makerere University
Martinillo received a PhD in Politics and International Studies from the University of Leeds in June 2011. He has been working on the political economy of land and agrarian change in South Africa in historical perspective. His current research interests include land grabbing, land reforms, food sovereignty and social movements in Africa.


Seasonal hunger in coffee communities: Integrated analysis of livelihoods, agroecology, and food sovereignty with smallholders of Mexico and Nicaragua

Margarita Fernandez
PhD candidate in Agroecology, University of Vermont.
Fernandez’s dissertation work uses participatory action research to explore the relationship between agroecology, food sovereignty, climate change and livelihoods with coffee communities of Mexico and Nicaragua. She has over 15 years’ experience working on a range of food systems initiatives in urban and rural landscapes of Mexico, Nicaragua, Laos, Cuba and the US. She holds a Masters from Yale F&ES and a BS from Tufts University.
V. Ernesto Méndez
Associate Professor of Agroecology, University of Vermont.
Professor Méndez works with smallholder coffee cooperatives in Mesoamerica and a variety of growers in Vermont. His research uses agroecology as a transdisciplinary, participatory and action-oriented approach focusing on the interactions between agriculture, farmer livelihoods and environmental conservation.
Christopher Bacon
Assistant Professor, Department of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Santa Clara University.
Professor Bacon’s primary research examines the political ecology of conventional and alternative food systems and their impacts on rural development in northern Nicaragua. He often uses a community-based participatory action research approach. In addition to continued work in Central America, he recently initiated research focused on environmental and food justice in San Jose, California. Previous work has been published in the Journal of Peasant Studies, Ecology and Society, and World Development.


Food Sovereignty: How it turns the growing corporate global food system upside down

(supplement: Appendix, pp. 2–10)

Joan P. Mencher
Professor Emerita of Anthropology, City University of New York’s Graduate Center, and Lehman College of the City University of New York
Professor Mencher is now the Chair of a small Foundation (TSCF), which works to support rural grassroots organizations in India working on sustainable agriculture. Currently she is primarily writing even though she still visits the rural areas in India when she can. She still presents papers annually at professional meetings. She has also worked as a consultant for various UN agencies.


Food Sovereignty in Everyday Life: A People-Centered Approach to Food Systems

Meleiza Figueroa
Ph.D. student in Geography, University of California, Berkeley
Meleiza Figueroa’s current research is concerned with how food practices of rural-urban migrants shapes urban space in Brazil’s favelas. She holds a B.A. in Geography and Environmental Studies from UCLA, and a Master’s degree in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago.


Structural Transformation and Gender Rights in African Agriculture: What Pathways to Food Sovereignty and Sustainable Food Security?

Bola O Akanji
Research Professor, Economic Policy Research Department, Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research
Professor Akanji’s research and consultancies focus on agricultural markets and structural studies, socioeconomic policy and programme evaluation, gender analysis of agricultural policies, with emphasis on poverty, food security and sustainable livelihoods. She is member, International Working Group on Gender and Macro-economics and currently Visiting (Adjunct) Professor, University of Rhode Island, Kingston USA.


Recipe for decolonization and resurgence: Story of O-Pipon-Na-Piwin Cree Nation’s indigenous food sovereignty movement

Asfia Gulrukh Kamal
PhD candidate, Natural Resources Institute, University of Manitoba
Ms. Kamal has a Masters in Cultural Anthropology from University of Manitoba and Masters of Social Science from Women’s Studies, Dhaka University, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Her doctoral research focuses on food sovereignty and community economic development with the O-Pipon-Na-Piwin Cree Nation in northern Manitoba.
Shirley Thompson
Associate Professor, Natural Resources Institute, University of Manitob.
Dr. Thompson has a doctoral degree in Adult Education and Community Development and a Master of Environmental Engineering, both from the University of Toronto. Dr. Thompson has been elected as the co-president of the Environmental Studies Association in Canada for the last four years and is a board member of Food Secure Canada and the Association of Nonprofit and Social Economy Research.


Exploring the Dialectic of Labor Rights and Food Sovereignty in Everyday Work Conflicts of Argentina ́s Yerba mate Country

Jennifer S. Bowles
PhD candidate in Anthropology, University of Michigan
Since 2008, Ms. Bowles has been working on labor and agrarian rights movements in Misiones, Argentina, particularly on the politics of yerba mate production. Trained as an attorney and clinical social worker, she has advocated for low wage workers and practiced as a mental health therapist for homeless men and women recovering from addiction.


Between empty lots and open pots: understanding the rise of urban food movements in the USA

Jessica Clendenning
Independent Researcher
Ms. Clendenning’s interests revolve around agro-food systems (food security/sovereignty), rural livelihoods and agrarian change, land access and resource use, and forestry conservation and governance.
Wolfram Dressler
Associate Professor, Forest and Nature Conservation Policy Group, Wageningen University, the Netherlands.
Dr. Dressler’s interests lie in the political economy of landscape change, smallholder farming and human rights in northern and southern hemispheres.


Life in a Shrimp Zone: Aqua and Other Cultures in Bangladesh’s Coastal Landscape

Kasia Paprocki
PhD student in Development Sociology, Cornell University.
Ms. Paprocki’s research broadly is concerned with the relationship between development and agrarian dispossession in Bangladesh. Working in partnership with Nijera Kori, Bangladesh’s largest landless social movement, her dissertation research is examining depeasantization through industrial shrimp aquaculture and related rural development schemes, and the ways in which it is shaped by discourses around climate change and market-based development solutions.
Jason Cons
Assistant Professor of International Relations, Bucknell University.
Professor Cons’s research focuses on the India-Bangladesh border and on agrarian change in rural Bangladesh.


Food sovereignty in Ecuador: The gap between the constitutionalization of the principles and their materialization in the official agri-food strategies

Isabella Giunta
PhD candidate, School of Doctorate in Knowledge and Innovation for Development-A G. Frank, Department of Political and Social Sciences, University of Calabria (Italy)
A graduate in Social Anthropology, Ms. Giunta, lived for more than ten years in Ecuador working in initiatives of cooperation and research, conducted mainly with social organizations. She performs a comparative research, between Ecuador and Italy, on the collective actions of organizations linked to La Vía Campesina.


Institutionalizing Food Sovereignty in Ecuador

Karla Peña
Researcher, Ecology Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan
A researcher for the Ann Arbor-based environmental non-profit organization, Ms. Peña earned her Masters of Science degree from the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment. Broadly, she is interested in ethnic politics and questions of rural and agricultural development in the Andes.


Food Regimes, Race and The Coloniality of Power: Linking histories in the food sovereignty movement

Shoshana Devra Perrey
NSF Fellow
As an NSF Fellow, Ms. Perrey did participatory research in agroecology with farmers in Mexico and Madagascar. She earned a B.A. in Food Policies, Institutions and Culture from Mills College, designed a campus farm, and was a Food First intern. Her master’s thesis is on alternative education in international farmer training. She is coordinating a community-produced mural on wild edibles in Ithaca, NY for the Food Justice Summit.


Conceptualizing the Human Right to Food in the Food Sovereignty Framework

Will Schanbacher
Instructor of Religious Studies, University of South Florida
Author of The Politics of Food: The Global Conflict between Food Security and Food Sovereignty (Praeger, 2010), Will Schanbacher’s research interests include, ethics and the global food system, religion and food, human rights and theories of justice, and liberation theologies. He is currently working on an edited volume tentatively titled, The Global Food System: Issues and Solutions (Praeger).


The political ecology of market-oriented seed system development and emergent alternatives

Kristal Jones
Ph.D. candidate in Rural Sociology, Pennsylvania State University
Ms. Jones has long-standing ties to Sahelian West Africa, and has worked on a variety of research projects focused on the differentiated effects of agricultural research and development projects in that region. She is currently working on an analysis of adaptive seed systems with the introduction of improved varieties of sorghum and pearl millet.


Towards a geographic theory of food sovereignty in the United States

Amy Trauger
Assistant Professor of Geography, University of Georgia, Athens
Dr. Trauger’s work has focused on women farmers, sustainable agriculture and the alternativeness of alternative agriculture. She now is pursuing a research trajectory in food sovereignty and is currently working on the book “We Want Land to Live”: Space, Territory and the Politics of Food Sovereignty to be published by UGA Press in the Geographies of Justice and Social Transformation Series.


Re-Purposing the Master’s Tools: The Open Source Seed Initiative and the Struggle for Seed Sovereignty

Jack Kloppenburg
Director, GreenHouse Residential Learning Community, Department of Community and Environmental Sociology, and affiliated with the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and the Agroecology Program, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Jack Kloppenburg is founder of the REAP Food Group and most recently has joined with farmers, plant breeders and sustainability advocates to establish the Open Source Seed Initiative to apply open source mechanisms to plant breeding.


The ‘State’ of Food Sovereignty in Latin America: Political Projects and Alternative Pathways in Venezuela, Ecuador, and Bolivia

Ben McKay
PhD candidate, International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), The Hague, Netherlands
Ben McKay’s research focuses on the political economy and ecology of land/resource access and control in Bolivia in the context of the rise of Brazil.
Ryan Nehring
PhD student, Department of Development Sociology, Cornell University
Ryan Nehring’ research interests include the political economy of rural development in Latin America and, more recently, the emergence of Brazilian South-South Cooperation in African agriculture.


Feminist Food Sovereignty: Crafting a New Vision

Carolyn Sachs
Professor, Rural Sociology and Women’s Studies, and Department Head, Women’s Studies, Penn State University
Professor Sachs’s research focuses on women farmers, gender and food, and gender and climate change. Her books include Invisible Farmers: Women in Agricultural Production Agriculture; Gendered Fields: Rural Women, Agriculture and Environment; and Women Working in the Environment.


Bolivia’s Food Sovereignty & Agrobiodiversity: Undermining the Local to Strengthen the State?

Jenny Cockburn
Jenny Cockburn received her PhD in Sociology with a specialization in Social Justice from the University of Windsor in June 2013. Her dissertation, based on ethnographic research in farming communities and an NGO in the Bolivian Andes, focused on challenges to agricultural knowledge exchange and collaboration. She is currently working on publications with the intention to conduct post-doctoral research on incorporating a gendered framework into Food Sovereignty in Bolivia.


‘We Didn’t Want to Hear About Calories’: Rethinking Food Security, Food Power and Food Sovereignty — Lessons from the Gaza Closure

Aeyal Gross
Professor, Faculty of Law, Tel Aviv University, and visiting Reader, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London.
Tamar Feldman


King of the Sea: Seafood Sovereignty and the Blue Revolution

Craig K. Harris
Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, Michigan State University, with appointments in Michigan AbBio Research and the Center for Regional Food Systems
Professor Harris is one of the co-founders of the Center for the Study of Standards In Society. He has studied the social dimensions of fisheries of the North American Great Lakes and the East African Great Lakes, especially Lake Victoria.


Do Purchases Motivated by Symbolic and Social Needs Undermine Food Sovereignty?

Jill Richardson
Freelance writer, based in San Diego
Jill Richardson is the author of Recipe for America: Why Our Food System is Broken and What We Can Do To Fix It.


The Complexity of Food Sovereignty Policymaking: The Case of Nicaragua’s Law 693

Wendy Godek
PhD Candidate, Division of Global Affairs, Rutgers University, Newark, NJ
Ms. Godek’s dissertation research examines Nicaragua’s Law of Food and Nutritional Sovereignty and Security with emphasis on the policy-making process. Her research interests include food politics, alternative agrifood systems, sustainable rural development, and discourse in policy making. She provides research assistance to several organizations with food sovereignty and food security projects in Nicaraguan communities.


Toward Genetic Democracy? Seed Sovereignty, Neoliberal Food Regime, and Transgenic Crops in India

Devparna Roy
Visiting Fellow, Polson Institute for Global Development, Department of Development Sociology, Cornell University
Ms. Roy holds a Master’s degree in biotechnology from the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Gujarat, India. For her Ph.D. dissertation at Cornell University, she analyzed the early experiences of Gujarat agriculturists with Bt cotton (2002 to 2004). She conducts research on the sociology of agri-food systems in India and the United States of America, with an emphasis on comparing different agricultural technologies (e.g. industrial farming using transgenic seeds versus organic farming), the political economy of land seizures in India, and social movements related to various natural resources (from seeds to land).


Perils of Peasant Populism: Why Redistributive Land Reform and “Food Sovereignty” Can’t Feed Venezuela

Aaron Kappeler
Researcher, currently working on an ethnographic account of the restructuring of agriculture and nation-state in the Bolivarian Revolution
Aaron E. Kappeler, then a student at the Universtiy of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, was awarded a grant in April 2009 to aid research on ‘Sowing the State: Land Reform and Hegemony in Rural Venezuela,’ supervised by Dr. Tania Murray Li. This research provides an ethnographic account of the restructuring of agriculture and nation-state in the Bolivarian Revolution. This project investigates the transformation of land tenure relationships and productive activity in light of the challenges faced by reformers after decades of neoliberal policy. Based on 18 months of fieldwork in El Centro Tecnico Productivo Socialista Florentino (an agricultural enterprise located in Barinas in the central plains), the account centers on the enterprise, its operation, and the openings created for subaltern actors in its relations with producer communities and the wider context of state formation.


A Tale of Three Habas Pejtos, Or, How to Make a ‘Plurinational’ Cuisine

Alder Keleman
PhD candidate, Yale University, in a joint program of the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, the Department of Anthropology, and the New York Botanical Gardens
Ms. Keleman’s multi-disciplinary thesis research examines the relationships linking agrobiodiversity to food security and food culture in Cochabamba, Bolivia. Previously, Ms. Keleman worked in applied agricultural development research at the UN FAO, CIMMYT, and IPGRI.


Building Relational Food Sovereignty Across Scales: An Example from the Peruvian Andes

Alastair Iles
Associate Professor of Science, Technology & Environment, Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, University of California at Berkeley, and faculty co-director of the new Berkeley Food Institute
Maywa Montenegro
PhD student in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, University of California at Berkeley


Food Sovereignty, Gender and Nutrition: Perspectives from Malawi

Rachel Bezner Kerr
Associate Professor in Development Sociology
Rachel Bezner Kerr’s research interests converge on the broad themes of sustainable agriculture, food security, health, nutrition and social inequalities, with a primary focus in southern Africa. She has worked with a long term, interdisciplinary, participatory research project in Malawi that has aimed to improve nutrition, food security and land quality using agroecological methods.
Esther Lupafya
AIDS Coordinator and Deputy Director of Primary Health Care of Ekwendeni Hospital
Esther Lupafya is a community nurse and holds an M.A. in Social Development and Health from Queen Margaret University (Scotland). She has held her positions at Ekwendeni Hospital for over a decade.
Lizzie Shumba
Soils, Food, and Healthy Community project, Ekwendeni Malawi
Lizzie Shumba has been working with the Soils, Food, and Healthy Community project in Ekwendeni Malawi since 2005. She has co-authored five papers on health, agriculture, and nutrition in Malawi and has presented at conferences in Malawi, the UK, and Mexico. Lizzie holds a diploma in nutrition, and a Certificate of Principles and Practice in Farm Home Science, both from Natural Resources College, Lilongwe, Malawi.


Transcending the Focus on Agrarian Sector

Anil Bhattarai
PhD candidate, Programme in Planning and Department of Geography, University of Toronto
Anil Bhattarai is currently writing his Ph.D. dissertation on sustainable agriculture in Nepal’s Chitwan valley. Currently based in the Programme in Planning and Department of Geography at University of Toronto, Canada, his scholarly interests include ecological future, creative production, democratization, social justice, sustainable agriculture, public health, ecological designs, and politically-engaged scholarship. Besides academic pursuits, he has been writing regular column, (un)commonsense for The Kathmandu Post, an English-language daily broadsheet newspaper (with online presence), since May 2009. During his ethnographic field work in Nepal in 2010-2011, he built a small earthbag home and innovated on washable mud-floors and bamboo crafts, and planted an agroforest in an acre of land. He was actively involved in Citizens Movement for Democracy and Peace during Nepal’s second popular democratic movement in 2005.


Aloha Aina as an expression of food sovereignty: A Case Study of the challenges to food self-reliance on Molokai, Hawaii

Clare Gupta
National Science Foundation SEES (Science, Education and Engneering for Sustainability) postdoctoral fellow, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
Clare Gupta’s recently completed dissertation work in the University of California Berkeley’s Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management examined the implications of wildlife conservation for the livelihoods of rural communities living near protected areas in northern Botswana. This work drew from the fields of human geography and conservation biology to assess migration patterns, agrarian change and community-based conservation around Chobe National Park. She is now conducting an interdisciplinary research project that examines sustainability initiatives to “re-localize” the Hawaiian economy, particularly in the agricultural and energy sectors, from a combined political and industrial ecological approach. Her recent publications include: “Elephants, safety nets and agrarian culture: understanding human-wildlife conflict and rural livelihoods around Chobe National Park, Botswana” Journal of Political Ecology (2013) and “Highlighting the shortcomings of CBNRM: The case of the Chobe Enclave” in Environmental Governance for Social Justice in Southern Africa (2013).


Women’s Indigenous Knowledge and Food Sovereignty: Experiences from KWPA’s Movement in South Korea

Hyo Jeong Kim
PhD student, Department of Women’s Studies, Ewha Womans University (EWU)
Hyo Jeong, Kim started her feminist activism as an NGO activist to support women in sex-trafficking in Asian countries and recognized development issues in Asia. She wrote her M.A. thesis of Women’s Studies ‘A Study about the Indigenous Knowledge of Peasant Women through the Indigenous Seed Preservation Movement’ at EWU. She was a researcher at Asian Center for Women’s Studies in EWU. Her current research interests include women’s collectives of urban agriculture and agricultural development utilizing women’s knowledge and skills in Asia. (E-mail:


Food sovereignty: Forgotten genealogies and future regulatory challenges

Marc Edelman
Professor of Anthropology, Hunter College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York
Professor Edelman is the author of The Logic of the Latifundio (Stanford 1992) and Peasants Against Globalization (Stanford, 1999); co-author of Social Democracy in the Global Periphery (Cambridge, 2007); and co-editor of The Anthropology of Development and Globalization (Blackwell, 2005) and Transnational Agrarian Movements Confronting Globalization (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009). His current research focuses on the campaign to have the United Nations approve a declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas.


The Cunning State of Farmers’ Rights in India: Aligning with Global Law or Emancipating Farmers?

Dwijen Rangnekar
Associate Professor of Law, School of Law, University of Warwick
Professor Rangnekar’s research focuses on the intellectual property rights; thus, probing the construction of standards and their contested globalisation. His recent publications include Geneva Rhetoric, National Reality: The Political Economy of Introducing Plant Breeders’ Rights in Kenya (New Political Economy), Re-making place: the social construction of a geographical indication for Feni (Environment and Planning A), and The Glivec Precedent – The Supreme Court Judgement: Lawmaking in the South (Economic and Political Weekly). He is currently working on a monograph, titled Re-Making Place: The Social Construction of Geographical Indications (Palgrave Macmillan). Further details at


Entitlement vs. Food Sovereignty Approaches: Challenges for sustainable food and nutrition security in the changing agrarian landscape in Tamil Nadu, India

Hom Gartaula
Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Anthropology, University of Manitoba and International Development Studies, Canadian Mennonite University, Winnipeg
With the financial support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada, Hom Gartaula’s current research focuses on food security and wellbeing of small farmers in South Asia.
Kirit Patel
Assistant Professor, International Development Studies Program, Menno Simons College, affiliated with the University of Winnipeg & Canadian Mennonite University, Winnipeg.
Derek Johnson
Associate Professor, socio-cultural anthropology, University of Manitoba
Professor Johnson works in the areas of international development and natural resource governance with a primary focus on small-scale fisheries.
Dinesh Moghariya
Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Anthropology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, and the Department of International Development Studies, Canadian Mennonite University, Winnipeg
Dineshkumar Moghariya holds a PhD in environmental Science from SUNY ESF, Syracuse, NY.


Occupy the Farm: A Study of Civil Society Tactics to Cultivate Commons and Construct Food Sovereignty in the United States

Antonio Roman-Alcalá
MA student, International Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, and co-founder San Francisco Urban Agriculture Alliance
Antonio Roman-Alcalá’s work focuses on the intersections of global environmental politics and local deliberative democracy, with food and farming as vehicles for politicaleconomic critique and praxis-based interventions. His interest in participatory action research and improving activist/academic collaboration is reflected in his paper for this conference. Email:


Is market gardening compatible with food sovereignty? Insights from a case study of small-scale micro-irrigated vegetable production in southwest Burkina Faso

Brian Dowd-Uribe
Assistant Professor, Department of Environment and Development, University for Peace, Costa Rica
Previously Brian Dowd-Uribe was a Post-Doctoral Research Scientist at Columbia University’s Center for Research on Environmental Decisions. He holds a PhD from the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Carla Roncoli
Senior Research Scientist, Department of Anthropology, and Associate Director of the Master’s in Development Practice, Emory University
Carla Roncoli holds a PhD from the State University of New York, Binghamton.
Ben Orlove
School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia
Ben Orlove is an anthropologist (PhD University of California, Berkeley) who teaches in the School of International and Public Affairs, where he also directs the Master’s Program in Climate and Society and the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions. He has published many books, including the recent Darkening Peaks: Glacier Retreat, Science, and Society.
Colin T. West
Anthropology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Colin Thor West is a human ecologist with a PhD from the University of Arizona. He works on issues related to natural resource-based livelihoods and global change in semi-arid West Africa and western Alaska.


Developing tools to assess agri-food systems responses to food sovereignty policies: A conceptual and methodological approach through integration of SES and vulnerability frameworks

Virginia Vallejo-Rojas
PhD candidate, by Polytechnic University of Catalonia
As a PhD candidate, Virginia Vallejo Rojas is working on the development of new tools to assess agri-food system responses to policy changes. She is particularly focused in the social research linked to Ecuadorian Andean region. She holds an MSc in Biodiversity, Ecosystem Functioning and Management from the University of Basque Country, and completed her Bachelor in Biotechnology at Army Polytechnic School – ESPE in Ecuador.
Federica Ravera
Post-doctoral researcher, Social-Ecological Systems Lab and Associate Researcher, Ethnoecology Lab
Federica Ravera’s PhD in Environmental Science and Ecological Economics option (UAB) focused on vulnerability and local adaptation to climate change of semiarid socio-ecological systems. Her major research interests are related to the role of institutions in vulnerability/adaptation studies, gender and agro-biodiversity studies, participatory multicriteria assessment of ecosystems services in agriculture.
Marta G. Rivera-Ferre
Associate Professor, University of Vic (Barcelona-Spain
Marta G. Rivera-Ferre performs her research on food systems and sustainability from a wide scope, analysing interactions among different components of the systems. She has been interested in food sovereignty since 2006 and has centred the analysis of the proposal from a sociological perspective, including local research in Spain linked to the food sovereignty movement, and also from an international and institutional perspectives.


Rethinking investment dynamics: An alternative framework of the global land rush

Elizabeth Starr
Independent researcher
Liza Starr received her B.A. in Ethics, Politics, and Economics from Yale University. She is a research assistant to Professor Elisabeth Wood and conducts research on land concentration processes in the developing world, with a particular focus on Latin America. In September 2013, she will begin a new position as a research associate based out of the National University of Colombia, where she will be studying the Colombian land restitution process and land property rights.


Food Sovereignty and the Quinoa Boom in Bolivia

Tanya Kerssen
Research Coordinator, Food First/Institute for Food and Development Policy
Tanya Kerssen is the author of Grabbing Power: The New Struggles for Land, Food and Democracy in Northern Honduras (Food First Books, 2013) and is currently researching Bolivia’s quinoa export boom and its implications for highland peasant communities and food sovereignty. She can be contacted at


Contested Agrifood Governance: Nicaraguan smallholder cooperatives navigate the split in fair trade and start the struggle for food sovereignty

Christopher M. Bacon
Assistant Professor, Department of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Santa Clara University
Professor Bacon’s primary research examines the political ecology of conventional and alternative food systems and their impacts on rural development in northern Nicaragua. He often uses a community-based participatory action research approach. In addition to continued work in Central America, he recently initiated research focused on environmental and food justice in San Jose, California. He has published in the Journal of Peasant Studies, Ecology and Society, and World Development.


Navigating De- and Re-Peasantisation: Potential Limitations of a Universal Food Sovereignty Approach for Polish Smallholders

Kathryn DeMaster
Assistant Professor of Agriculture, Society and Food Security, Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, University of California Berkeley
Professor DeMaster’s primary scholarship explores rural transitions, agri-environmental policies and incentives, diversified farming systems, and food justice/food sovereignty. Kathryn grew up on a farm in NW Montana, received her PhD from UW-Madison in Wisconsin, and most recently held a visiting position at Brown University. She joined the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management at UC Berkeley in 2013.


Marginalized street food vendors promoting consumption of millets among the urban poor: A case study of millet porridge vendors in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India

Kirit Patel
Assistant Professor, International Development Studies Program, Menno Simons College affiliated with the University of Winnipeg & Canadian Mennonite University, Winnipeg
Dr. Patel has extensive experience as an academic, development policy analyst, and community development practitioner. He is the principal investigator of an interdisciplinary research project, funded under the Canadian International Food Security Research Fund (CIFSRF) from the IDRC, examining production, distribution, value addition and consumption of small millets in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. He can be contacted at k.patel@
David Guenther
Research assistant and administrative assistant for the CIFSRF project on food security in India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka
Kyle Wiebe and Ruth-Anne Seburn
Students in the IDS honours program, Menno Simons College, University of Winnipeg
Kyle Wiebe and Ruth-Anne Seburn are both involved as student researchers in the CIFSRF project on food security and are writing their theses on issues related to street food vendors in Madurai.