Cracks, Fissures, And A Politics Of Emergence: Epistemic Contestations And The Politics Of Reframing Agriculture In Development Discourse
Amidst multiple reinforcing social and ecological crises dominant development agencies are discursively shifting the place and role of agriculture from the periphery to the center of the development agenda. While development discourse is touting the role of smallholder agriculture in supporting development processes and multifunctional agriculture to meet sustainability objectives, the different framings of problems and solutions between the World Development Report 2008 (World Bank 2008) and the International Assessment of Agriculture Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD 2008) are exposing contradictions and tensions within dominant development discourse. This thesis explores the ways in which the reframing of agriculture as a response to food, energy, and climate crises is being constituted within and external to development discourses, and the potentials for an alternative development. I argue that we are, indeed, in a moment of transition in which the epistemic tensions within development discourse are providing space for a radical shift in how agriculture is conceptualized (and practiced) vis-a-vis food, energy, and climate crises, providing an opportunity for social movements advocating food and fuel sovereignty to flourish within the interstices of the competing visions of agriculture in development discourse. In conclusion, I explore how the discursive and political interventions of the food sovereignty movement, in a moment of declining confidence in agro-industrial food and energy systems, is reformulating the original agrarian question and establishing food sovereignty as the basis for development alternatives. In this transitional moment agrarian social movements are reclaiming the political subjectivity of peasant agriculture grounded on the social and ecological benefits of peasant agrecological practices and knowledges.
dissertation or thesis