Food Sovereignty and Neo-Extractivism: Limits and Possibilities, Convergences and Contradictions

Friday, October 12, 2018 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm
Prince George

Global Friday Presents

Dr. Ben McKay
Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology and Archaeology
University of Calgary

ABSTRACT:  Progressive-left governments throughout the Latin American region have poured significant funds into food sovereignty and other food sovereignty-like (e.g. rural social welfare) programmes. Ironically, many of these states are financing such alternatives with rents derived from the extraction of natural resources, a practice referred to as neo-extractivism, which directly threatens the viability of the alternatives they claim to be supporting. The basic tenets of food sovereignty and the fundamentals of neo-extractivism represent profoundly contradictory models of development. How then, do we make sense of this seemingly conflictual fusion of food sovereignty and neo-extractivism that has emerged in Latin America? Most scholars have analyzed neo-extractivism with only cursory reference to food sovereignty, while food sovereignty scholars have given little attention to neo-extractivism. Going beyond neo-extractivism and food sovereignty alternatives as separate analytical silos, this research delves directly into the points of intersection of the two, that is, where extractive activities co-exist with food sovereignty alternatives to contribute to our understanding of the viability of such alternative models of development, both in theory and in practice.

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Global Friday gratefully acknowledges funding from the Dean of CASHS.

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