Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Food Security Governance; Empowering Communities, Regulating Corporations

Food Security Governance Empowering Communities, Regulating Corporations
Nora McKeon, January 2015. 248 pages

Extract from a review by Ingeborg Gaarde.
In her book, Nora McKeon investigates the dynamics behind the intensified struggles over the agriculture model that should be the basis for the future development path. 
  • On the one hand the author sheds lights on power relations and uncovers the discourses behind paradigms and ’objective myths’ behind corporate globalization dominating the global food system. 
  • On the other hand, the book uncovers how members of the global food sovereignty movement – uniting peasants with artisanal fisher folk, pastoralists, indigenous peoples, urban poor and other concerned citizens – have found new ways to challenge the dominant paradigm. 
In the course of the revelations of the ongoing transformations in the global food system, the author investigates people-driven alternatives that are underway, produced by the social actors that feed most of the world’s population.

What makes this volume particular captivating is that McKeon moves between global and local perspectives in a unique combination of a food regime analysis combined with her personal portrayals of encounters with some of the key actors engaged in the struggle to solve global food problems, in particular small-scale food producers themselves. The author openly states that she has been involved in many of the processes described in the book and her own personal story being engaged in the interface between institutions and civil society makes this volume a fascinating insider's view on some of the bold ongoing transformations and dynamics in the global system today.

Other reviewers:
'Nora McKeon does a superb job at describing how governments have allowed markets and corporations to take control of food systems, and which tools could be used to provide healthier diets, ensure greater resilience, and empower communities.'-- Olivier De Schutter, former UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food

'At such an uncertain time in global food provisioning, Nora McKeon’s book offers an exceptional perspective… a lively account of food system crisis, competing paradigms and new questions of governance in an accessible and forward-looking analysis.' --Philip McMichael, Cornell University, USA

'This book is an overdue account of the fight over reform. It is a fine reminder that food democracy is the key to feeding everyone equitably, healthily, affordably and sustainably.' – Tim Lang, City University, London, UK

'..a wonderfully readable account of the world food crisis, distinguished by its grounded faith in the capacity of organizations – of people and governments – to prevent future hunger.'-- Raj Patel, Research fellow at UCB and author of Stuffed and Starved, and The Value of Nothing

'Nora McKeon understands the Byzantine world of global food politics better than anyone I know …. Everyone fighting for Food Sovereignty has to read this book.' --Pat Mooney, ETC Group

'Brilliant! An eye-opening tour of the march to democratize global food governance... A must-read for all who want to go beyond competing "issues" to governance itself -- and real solutions.' -- Frances Moore Lappé, author of Diet for a Small Planet

‘A must-read for food activists seeking to go beyond slogans, techno-administrative fixes or business as usual into the realm of active, popular democracy.' -- Eric Holt-Giménez, Food First/Institute for Food and Development Policy
Related:
Nora McKeon, FAO from Food First on Vimeo.

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