The Food System in Crisis - social movements, food insecurity and bio-politics

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- The political ecology of understanding the creation of
the international order!
- Social movements and the challenge to existing orders!
- Linking the body and spaces of resistance

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The Food System in Crisis - social movements, food insecurity and bio-politics

  1. 1. International Security, Crime, Terrorism & Conflict The Food System in Crisis social movements, food insecurity and bio-politics Dr Matt Reed
  2. 2. “Just as living things require inputs..so do cities. That is cities cannot exist without those inputs urbanites require clean air, water, food, fuel and construction goods to subsist …” pg.41 – David Kilcullen ! - “Out of the Mountains: The coming age of the urban guerilla” 2013
  3. 3. Outline - The political ecology of understanding the creation of the international order! - Social movements and the challenge to existing orders! - Linking the body and spaces of resistance Key terms - political ecology, climate, food security, food system, social movement theory, ordering, bio-politics! Key thinkers - Davis, Castells, Foucault
  4. 4. Food Security - Increasing public policy concern ❖ Projections of shortage - climate change, limits of physical inputs (peak oil, water etc)! ❖ Global demographic changes (young, southern)! ❖ Urban-rural transition (urban, littoral, unplanned)! ❖ Dietary transition (plants to meat)! ❖ Changes to international order (rise of China, US hegemony)
  5. 5. flows across pacific! reversed ENSO impacts on monsoon Shifts in weather patterns - ENSO - El Nino - Southern Oscillation! - Global climatic change, irregular! - shown as nations but regions effected! - changes to heat/rain fall patterns
  6. 6. ENSO impacts ❖ Droughts in Australia, China, India and Southern Africa ! ❖ Profound impact on agricultural production, particularly cereals (wheat, corn, rice) but also pastoral production systems! ❖ These are traded as commodities globally
  7. 7. Making of the 3rd world ❖ Davis argues that severe ENSO cycles in late 19th C allowed imperial expansion, intersection of imperialist militarism, global market and climate! ❖ India, China - people often had higher standards of living and were centres of industrial production - “Even outcaste agricultural labourers in Madras earned more in real terms than English farm labourers” p.55! ❖ Whole of free trade system held up funds from Asian trade ‘the starving Indian and Chinese peasantries were wheeled in as unlikely saviours’ p58
  8. 8. “Nineteenth-century peasant producers in India and China - and, to a lesser extent, in Brazil and southern Africa - existed increasingly in the late Victorian world market but not of it.” p54 Mike Davis, - Late Victorian Holocausts/The Origin of the Third World “Between 1875-1900 - a period that included the worst famines in Indian history - annual grain exports increased from 3 to 10 million tons; as Dutt pointed out, this quantity equaled the annual nutrition of 25 million people.” p59
  9. 9. Contemporary China, and place names HEILONGJIANG HARBIN CHANGCHUN JILIN INNER MONGOLIA ÜRÜMQI XINJIANG SHENYANG HOHHOT GANSU YINCHUAN XINING QINGHAI LANZHOU TIBET (XIZANG) SHANDONG JIANGSU ZHENGZHOU HEFEI HENAN HUBEI WUHAN CHANGSHA SICHUAN HUNAN - Massive ethnic violence and revolts! - Imperial government forced to abandon mechanisms protecting against ENSO induced famines! - ‘Britain’s dominant role in Chinese foreign trade, built by Victorian nacrotrafficantes with gunboats, thus leveraged the whole free trade imperium’ Davis p.60 ANHUI HANGZHOU GUANGXI ZHEJIANG NANCHANG FUZHOU FUJIAN YUNNAN GUANGDONG GUANGZHOU HONG KONG NANNING HONG KONG MACAU HAIKOU HAINAN SHANGHAI SHANGHAI JIANGXI GUIYANG KUNMING NANJING CHONGQING GUIZHOU 19th Century China SHIJIAZHUANG JINAN SHAANXI CHONGQING LHASA TIANJIN HEBEI TAIYUAN XI’AN CHENGDU TIANJIN BEIJING SHANXI NINGXIA LIAONING BEIJING
  10. 10. British India - Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Burma JAMMU & KASHMIR SRINAGAR JAMMU PUNJAB SHIMLA CHANDIGARH The British Raj 19th Century HARYANA DELHI “If the history of British rule in were to be condensed in a single fact, it is this; there was no increase in India’s per capita income from 1757 to 1947. There was no economic development in the usual sense of the term.” Davis p.63! ! - Commercialisation of agriculture wheat, cotton, opium, indigo led to impoverishment and starvation.! ! - Raj choked off the development of peasant agriculture into capitalist agriculture. JAIPUR HIMACHAL PRADESH DEHRADUN UTTARAKHAND UTTAR PRADESH LUCKNOW RAJASTHAN GANDHINAGAR MADHYA PRADESH DADRA & NAGAR HAVELI BIHAR PATNA RANCHI BHOPAL DAMAN SILVASSA CHHATTISGARH MAHARASHTRA (ODISHA) RAIPUR ORISSA MUMBAI HYDERABAD GOA PANAJI KARNATAKA ANDHRA PRADESH BANGALORE KERALA THIRUVANANTHAPURAM CHENNAI PONDICHERRY TAMIL NADU ITANAGA GANGTOK JHARKHAND GUJARAT ARUNACHAL PRADES SIKKIM ASSAM SHILLONG MEGHALAYA DISPUR NAGALAN KOHIMA IMPHAL MANIPUR AGARTALA TRIPURA KOLKATA AIZAWL MIZORAM WEST BENGAL BHUBANESWAR
  11. 11. Why all this talk of the 19th C? ❖ Importance of:! ❖ Agricultural commodities - food (wheat, tea, coffee), drugs (opium) & industrial inputs (indigo)! ❖ Global trade and international order! ❖ Consequences of financialization of commodities for poorer people! ❖ Intersection of climatic variation and social systems.
  12. 12. http://www.hbo.com/documentaries/in-tahrir-square-18-days-of-egypts-unfinished-revolution
  13. 13. Global/Arab Spring 2010 ❖ Food price spikes after ENSO events - draught/floods increased financialization/speculation of food commodities! ❖ US and Europe bio-fuels - food = fuel! ❖ Urbanised populations very reliant on often subsidised food products.! ❖ Then it all kicked off! [http://youtu.be/bu9YBJ_wp3I]
  14. 14. Social movement definitions ❖ Shared Identity! ❖ ❖ Informal networks! ❖ ❖ not one single organisation Solidarity! ❖ ❖ may transcend class/gender/ethnicity! support one another! Unconventional protests
  15. 15. Protest ❖ Transcending ‘normal’ politics! ❖ Bearing witness - sincerity and sacrifice! ❖ Numbers - mass protests! ❖ Symbolic acts - images! ❖ Cultural protest - tailored to the governance system! ❖ Control of (urban) space
  16. 16. Hybrid urban spaces ❖ Castells! ❖ "In our society, the public space of the social movement is constructed as a hybrid space between the Internet social networks and the occupied urban space: connecting cyberspace and urban space in relentless interaction, constituting, technologically and culturally, instant communities of transformative practice.' p 11! ❖ Co-ordination across time/space ! ❖ Increase speed of communication and experimentation ! ❖ Diffusion and availability
  17. 17. Protest movements 2008 - 2014 - Arab spring (Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, Morocco, Turkey, Yemen, Bahrain) + protest in Iran! - Occupy movement (US, UK …..)! - Indignadas (Spain) + Greek & Italian protests! - Brazilian protests - Riots in the UK, Sweden and China! - On-going protests in Thailand! - Suppressed peaceful Sunni protests in Iraq
  18. 18. Stuffed & Starved ❖ A focus of governance on the body ! ❖ The starved - those without food or insecure! ❖ ❖ threat of insurrection! The stuffed - those who’s bodies are over fed! ❖ threat of illness and drain ! ❖ Regulation of the body - medical interventions! ❖ Also national security - competition between nations - eclipse of liberal order?
  19. 19. “The body and everything that touches it: diet, climate, and soil – is the domain of the Herkunft: “The body manifests the stigmata of past experience and also gives rise to desires, failings and errors” (Foucault 1998:375)! –Michel Foucault (1998:375) Herkunft - descent - as discussed by Nietzche
  20. 20. Future thoughts ❖ The nexus of the global commodity chain written on the body ! ❖ Security in this context multifaceted - national, familial, personal….! ❖ Food system vital in a wider political ecology ! ❖ Borders of the licit/illicit commodities - central role of drugs! ❖ Opportunities not just for repression but revolt
  21. 21. Contact mreed@glos.ac.uk! ! @Reedmtweet! !

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