For example, peasants in Papua New Guinea adapted sweet potatoes across cultures and landscapes from mangroves to mountaintops in a century impressively fast given that it occurred before modern transport and communication. Turning to the Peasant Food Web is the safest option to address the intertwined challenges of identity, livelihoods, health and ecology that food systems are urgently pressed to confront.
Agroecology and food sovereignty point to the paradigm shift to transform food systems. However important, shifting the centre of gravity of public policies and investments in favour of peasants is not enough to reorient food systems towards sustainability. It is increasingly recognized that a paradigm shift towards diversified agroecological systems is needed.
Agroecology is based on a holistic approach and system-thinking. It has technical, social, economic, cultural, spiritual and political dimensions. It combines scientific ecological principles with centuries of peasant knowledge and experience and applies them to the design and management of holistic agroecosystems. Agroecology has consistently proven capable of sustainably increasing productivity, ensuring adequate nutrition through diverse diets and has far greater potential for fighting hunger and poverty.
Importantly, food sovereignty and agroecology promote more localized food systems centred on the agency of local food producers, therefore offering a concrete alternative to the industrial food and agriculture system that is largely dominated by corporations. Agroecology is therefore not simply about changing agricultural practices and making them more sustainable, although this is important, it is also about creating fundamentally different farming landscapes and livelihoods, and radically reimagining food systems that are diversified, resilient, healthy, equitable and socially just.
In this respect, agroecology is a science, a practice and a foundational vision for an inclusive, just and sustainable society. The challenges facing agriculture and food systems are generally perpetuated in vicious cycles that act to lock in the dominant industrial model through a series of powerful feedback loops extending beyond the world of farming: current incentives keep producers and consumers locked into the structures and logics of the unsustainable industrial model, while simultaneously locking out the reforms that are needed.
The concentration of power, held in a few multinational corporations, reinforces the lock-ins within unsustainable food systems. The disproportionate power these corporations wield determines what we grow, where and how we grow it, what we buy, what we eat and how much we pay for it. Unprecedented consolidation is underway in the seed, agri-chemical, fertilizer, animal genetics and farm machinery industries, while ever-bigger players dominate the processing and retail sectors; a result of significant horizontal and vertical restructuring across food systems.
Therefore, a systemic transition is needed that would realign the incentives, empowering peasants to step off the treadmill of industrial agriculture while allowing new food systems with new infrastructures and new sets of power relations to emerge. The key is to establish political priorities, namely: to support the development of alternative systems that are based around fundamentally different logics centred on agroecology, and which, over time, generate more equitable power relations.
Governments have a key role to play and must ultimately shift all public support away from industrial production systems, while rewarding diversified agroecological systems and the array of positive outcomes they bring about. At the same time, the root causes of consolidation in the food system need to be addressed, including through anti-trust regulation and competition laws or policies see Chapter 1. Policy changes to support peasants in feeding the world. It is equally essential to re-articulate public spaces to ensure ex-ante interdisciplinary analysis and policy design, rather than ex-post coordination between food, health, environmental and other relevant policies.
Finally, but most importantly, these institutions need to be firmly centred in the human rights framework, including the right to adequate food and nutrition, and protected by robust safeguards against conflicts of interest, in terms of integrity of the policy process, trustworthiness of the knowledge-base and adequate public financing. Ensure agrarian reform, including the right to territories land, water, forests, fishing, foraging, hunting.
Recognizing the rights of peasants, smallholders, fisherfolk, pastoralists and indigenous peoples to land and other productive resources is a fundamental pillar for ensuring that they will continue feeding themselves, their families and most of the world. Agrarian reform has reduced poverty and increased the per capita income of beneficiaries in many countries, 21 and brought positive impacts on health status, educational attainment and overall economic development. Aquatic reforms that benefit, give social protection and recognize the fishing rights of artisanal fishers and fisherfolk should be adopted.
Recognition of rights to productive resources should be complemented by comprehensive support and social services to peasants with priorities determined by them. A UN declaration on the rights of peasants being discussed in a working group of the UN Human Rights Council, 23 may provide an excellent stepping stone in this direction, building on the normative rights-based framework offered by the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the context of national food security endorsed by the Committee on World Food Security see Spotlight on SDG 2.
Restore the right to freely save, plant, exchange, sell and breed seeds and livestock and remove regulations blocking local markets and diversity. The exchange, sharing and saving of seeds and breeds among peasants and farming communities across generations is the foundation of the vast genetic diversity of crops and livestock that serve as basis for global agriculture, food and nutrition.
The rights of peasants to freely save, plant, exchange, breed and sell seeds and livestock should be respected and all legal and institutional impediments to exercising such rights should be removed. The standardization of regional and global seed regulations marginalizes peasant seeds and breeds and adversely affects inter-community exchanges and sharing of genetic materials. Focus public policies and investments on strengthening territorial markets Territorial markets are the core of domestic food systems. These markets are inclusive and diversified, and perform multiple economic, social, cultural and ecological functions within their territories, starting with but not limited to food provision.
They contribute to structuring the territorial economy since they enable a greater share of the wealth created to be retained, redistributed, and returned to farm-level and local economies. They include embedded governance systems and offer the locus where political, social and cultural relations unfold, and where all people involved interact according to varying degrees of interdependence and solidarity.
It is urgent that governments employ public policy and investment to support these markets, both by strengthening them where they already exist and by establishing new spaces where they can take root and flourish. The recommendations particularly highlighted the key role that governments can play by ensuring that public procurement of food and agricultural products is from agroecological and local sources. The purchase of agroecologically produced food for school canteens, hospitals and other public institutions would help to ensure ready sales outlets for peasants, while providing fresh, nutritious and diverse food.
It is essential to build on these recommendations and develop coherent policy and investment frameworks at national and regional levels. Reorient public research and development to build on the agency of peasants and respond to their needs. As publicly funded institutions that are closest to the realities of peasants, national agricultural research centres need to be reoriented to support and respond to the requirements and priorities of peasants. However, it is essential that agroecological innovations have been developed in situ with the participation of farmers in a farmer-to-farmer or horizontal rather than top-down manner.
Peasants are therefore not merely producers of food or recipients of technology, but rather innovators and co-creators of knowledge. It is such horizontal exchange of ideas and innovations among farmers and with social movements that has facilitated the spread of agroecology and should be supported by governments, civil society, donors and researchers. At the same time, the direct involvement of peasants in the formulation of the research agenda and their active participation in the process of technological innovation and dissemination is key.
Farmers should be integrated into research and development systems, given tools to do their own on-farm research, and their capacity to share their knowledge with other farmers in farmer-to-farmer networks strengthened. Research priorities need to be identified in a participatory manner, enabling farmers to play a central role in defining strategic priorities for agricultural research. Institute fair and just trade rules, determined by peasant-led policies.
The current global trade rules, embodied in unilateral trade policies and more so in bilateral, plurilateral or in multilateral trade and investment agreements, generally favour the industrial food chain and the big corporations through subsidies, standards and regulations that are biased against peasant-led agroecology. In the name of providing access to cheap food to consumers, these regulations attempt to dismantle — both through the World Trade Organization WTO and more aggressively through Free-Trade Agreements FTAs — import duties that are critical to protect domestic agricultural production and peasant livelihoods, especially in developing countries.
At the same time, inequitable, unfair and irrational WTO rules on agricultural subsidies persist, allowing developed economies to subsidize agribusiness while preventing developing countries from supporting their peasant and agriculture sector. While the recent US threats to WTO as a multilateral platform are worrying, the current multilateral trading systems can only be supported if it reforms itself to bring in agricultural trade rules that ensure equity and benefits for developing countries and their peasants.
Therefore, the WTO reform agenda needs to move towards the complete opposite of what the current US Administration wants, which ultimately is more unilateral benefits for itself and its big business. Moreover, trade can only be fair and just if the rules are determined by peasant-oriented paradigms and peasant-led policies. The active participation of peasants in developing trade policies should therefore become integral to the decision-making process.
Establish fair wages and working conditions for food and agricultural workers, also tackling gender discrimination. Agricultural workers represent the backbone of the global food production system and yet are the least unionized, have the least access to social security and protection, they are the most socially vulnerable, and employed under the poorest health, safety and environmental conditions. Some are even paid in kind or on piece-rate based on productivity. They constitute about 40 percent of the total agricultural workforce and yet are largely invisible in policies and programmes that are targeted at farmers whose conditions and circumstances are different.
Their jobs are the most precarious with the introduction of automation, robotics and drones in industrial plantations and commercial farms. Food workers in downstream industries in the industrial food chain such as hotels and restaurants face a similar predicament.
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Among them, women tend to be further discriminated against and often engaged in work that is even more insecure, hazardous, poorly paid and vulnerable to sexual exploitation. The provision of fair wages, decent working conditions and social protection for food and agricultural workers is a key component of any strategy to support peasant-led agroecology.
Women and girls face widespread gender discrimination, violence, sexual exploitation and social, cultural and legal constraints, and are routinely marginalized in terms of control over resources, access to social services and employment opportunities. Women are especially burdened by the amount of unpaid care work they complete: Women living in rural areas work up to 10 hours a day caring for family and community members. Although they make up on average 43 percent of the agricultural labour force in developing countries, they are also marginalized from decision-making spheres at all levels — including the household, local communities and national parliaments.
Reclaim healthy and sustainable diets as public goods Consumers, regarded as citizens holding rights rather than market agents with purchasing power, have a right to healthy, affordable and accessible food options, and to be protected particularly children from aggressive marketing of unhealthy food and beverages that promote diet-related non-communicable diseases NCDs , as well as from equally aggressive marketing of breast milk substitutes.
Ultra-processed food and beverage products which are affordably priced and ubiquitously promoted need to be regulated through economic and legislative measures see Spotlight on SDG Fiscal policies should include those that foster and facilitate access to healthy, fresh and locally produced foods, such as fruits, vegetables and legumes, reinforcing the nexus between the rights of consumers and those of small-scale local food producers. Furthermore, awareness of the critical importance of breastfeeding as one of the most cost-effective interventions to reduce child illness and death needs to be raised as does that of the role of healthy diets in the prevention of NCDs.
Nonetheless, policy processes may remain constrained, in that the changes needed do not move far or fast enough. As such, there also needs to be a rethinking of how food policy is made, to be more inclusive and to encourage people to re-engage with the politics of food. In other words, there is a need for people to change their relationship to food systems more fundamentally; to shift from being consumers to being citizens.
As citizens start to actively shape what the future of their food and agriculture systems looks like, they reassert themselves as legitimate players in the policies that determine the food they eat; this is food democracy. Specific bodies, such as food policy councils, established at various levels from local or municipal to national level, can provide a platform at which various stakeholders come together to analyse the food systems on which they depend and develop proposals for reform.
There are examples of such food policy councils prevalent in the USA and Canada since the s, and more recently in the UK and other parts of Europe. They have also been institutionalized in a number of Latin American countries, particularly in Brazil. Emerging obstacles to system change: the dematerialization, digitalization and financialization of food systems. Unfortunately, technology is making matters worse as the required paradigm shift points at the opposite direction than the powerful technological drivers of change currently at play.
Three intertwined dynamics — dematerialization, digitalization and financialization — are profoundly changing the nature of both tradable goods and the markets where these are exchanged. The dematerialization of food refers to a process that promotes a decrease in the physical substance of food and an increase in the market value of its immaterial dimensions.
Gutierrez ; Haney ; Hannah-Moffat ; ; Goodkind ; have argued that holding offenders responsible for correcting their personal deficits ignores the constraints imposed by social structure and policies. For instance, labour market conditions for poor single mothers have resulted in greater material hardship for women who return to work than for those who retain welfare benefits Edin and Lein The association of economically based risk with recidivism at the individual level is consistent with findings from aggregate-level analysis showing that in metropolitan areas, the higher the expenditure on welfare assistance, the weaker the association of crime rates to the size of the population living in poverty Hannon and Defronzo In the US system, many prisoners are released to be supervised on parole before the completion of their sentences.
Other convicted offenders are sentenced to probation rather than prison. Both parole and probation supervision involve reporting to agents who monitor clients for compliance with court and supervision rules e. Agents can initiate proceedings that lead to incarceration and in some jurisdictions, they identify and address risks for recidivism.
Women offenders supervised in the community are less studied than their male counterparts, but in the United States their numbers are substantial. In , an estimated , US women were on parole and , were on probation; and women constituted 12 per cent of the parole population and 25 per cent of the probation population Herberman and Bonczar The numbers on parole result from three decades of rapid increase in incarceration, which was greater for women than for men and disproportionately included drug-involved offenders Mauer ; Mauer and Chesney-Lind In addition to tougher sanctions meted out by courts, the concentration of strict law enforcement in poor communities and on drug offenders accounted for more women being arrested, convicted and sentenced to probation or incarceration Steffensmeier and Streifel ; Bush-Baskette ; Steffensmeier et al.
To cut costs, in recent years, several states have shifted away from judicial and correctional policies that emphasized incarceration and punishment Pew Center on the States ; Carson and Sabol ; Phelps For offenders who posed no risk to the public, efforts included restrictions on returning offenders to prison for violations of supervision conditions and tailoring assessment and treatment to causes of offending.
Thus, a study of women offenders supervised in the community is timely and relevant to the dual policy goals of cutting costs of programmes to assist the poor and saving public monies by reducing recidivism. The research described in this article takes advantage of data collected for a longitudinal study of women on probation and parole at a time and place characterized by severe cuts to safety net programmes that disproportionately affect women.
The statewide changes followed previous cuts and disqualifications in Michigan that were considerably larger than in other states Schott and Pavetti ; McNichol et al. The primary focus of the larger research project was probation and parole agent interactions with women offenders. However, changes in state policies provided a unique opportunity to also examine effects of a dramatically shrinking safety net.
A month before data collection began, Michigan tightened its already relatively short month Temporary Assistance to Needy Families TANF, often called welfare lifetime limit by eliminating some reasons for exemptions; these restrictions resulted in immediate termination of benefits to over 12, families Schott and Pavetti The state legislature also reduced the Earned Income Tax Credit by two thirds Schott and Pavetti ; these tax credits benefitted individuals who worked but who lived in poverty.
At the time of these cuts, Michigan was among the hardest hit areas in the country by unemployment due to recession, and it had an acute low-income housing shortage McNichol et al. Showing that social welfare benefits are essential sources of support to women offenders, the literature review that follows first summarizes what is known about the extent of poverty among women in the US correctional system. The second section of the literature review briefly documents over two decades of US national, state and local policies that decreased economic assistance for the poor in general and for people with criminal histories more specifically.
The final section of the literature review considers prior theoretical and empirical work on women at the nexus of correctional and social welfare policies and explains how the present study contributes to that literature. Although no current statistics reveal the extent of poverty and unemployment for a nationally representative sample of US women on probation or parole, studies beginning in the s have consistently established that in various samples, many female offenders are poor and have difficulty finding and maintaining employment Chesney-Lind and Rodriguez ; Daly ; Owen and Bloom ; Greenfeld and Snell ; Olson et al.
In the United States, reductions in assistance to the poor started with the federal welfare reform, which primarily impacted female-headed families with dependent children Bloom et al. It restricted access to economic aid through TANF by setting time limits for receipt of aid and requiring states to involve minimum percentages of welfare caseloads in work preparation and eventual employment.
In line with federal policies Allard ; Schott et al. Showing a steady progression in punitiveness, in the most severe sanction for TANF was loss of the entire benefit until compliance was re-established; in , the maximum sanction was loss of the entire benefit for one month; and in , it was permanent termination Kassabian et al.
Research conducted in multiple states revealed that sanctions for non-compliance fell most often on clients with mental illness, limited education and disabilities, and on domestic violence victims and clients who are Black Kalil et al. Many women offenders have the characteristics of those most negatively affected by sanctions Greenfeld and Snell ; James and Glaze ; Steadman et al. Disconnection is the opposite of the integration into legitimate economic and social life that prevents recidivism Travis ; Nilsson Additionally, in the federal government eliminated alcoholism and addiction as evidence of a disability preventing employment.
This change also disproportionately impacts women offenders, who more than male offenders have drug and alcohol problems Langan and Pelissier ; Mumola and Karberg ; Guerino et al. The disability eligibility change also left many prior recipients disconnected from all means of financial support Norris et al.
Adding to financial strains, several states have inadequte economic assistance in the form of housing vouchers and public housing. The NLIHC estimated that in Michigan, there were 28 affordable available units for every households with extremely low incomes and 63 affordable available units for every households with very low incomes. Such collateral consequences of being a suspected or convicted offender intensify the unavailability of economic benefits. Scholars who have theorized and studied the link between mass incarceration and the shrinking welfare state provide different explanations of how the two institutions operate together.
Some argue that both entities have abandoned the ideal of rehabilitation and social reform; others assert that state institutions have either cooperated or taken turns in managing labour, inequality and marginalized populations Beckett and Western ; Garland ; Wacquant ; Few scholars have considered penal and welfare institutions as they specifically pertain to women offenders.
As an exception, Haney showed in her research that state institutions embody internal inconsistencies, e. The present study contributes to the limited prior research on the consistency in the practices of multiple state institutions that affect women offenders. For example, does economic-related recidivism risk increase for women who initially receive monetary benefits but then lose them?
Does it decrease for women who obtain needed benefits? We also addressed the follow-up question: Are women without access to economic benefits at greater risk for recidivism than others due to non-economic characteristics and circumstances? Answering this follow-up question would reveal whether social welfare policies compound already existing risk for reoffending.
A longitudinal quantitative data set was used to investigate the connection between 1 changes in receipt of needed economic benefits and 2 changes in recidivism risk due to economic distress. Need for and receipt of economic benefits and economic risk for recidivism were measured during interviews with each woman offender at approximately 2 and 8 months after beginning community supervision. We refer to the first interview as the initial interview or wave and the interview at 8 months as the follow-up interview or wave.
The sampling aim was to include women under community supervision convicted of a felony and from settings ranging from urban to rural. Moreover, the present study concentrated on the largest group of women on probation and parole—those with drug involvement Maidment ; Morash With probation and parole offices in every county, Michigan has a centralized statewide system of supervision for felony offenders and specialized caseloads for women.
Most women Seventy-three agents agreed to participate Similar to the national proportion of So that we could carry out meaningful analysis to address research questions apart from those addressed through the present analysis, parole agents were oversampled in relation to probation agents. The counties where the sample lived include An author of this article reviewed the caseload list with each agent and assisted the agent in identifying eligible clients. Of the eligible women identified, some did not take part because they reported to the office when research staff was not on site to explain the project, and some of those neither responded to flyers nor gave agents permission to share contact information with interviewers.
Interviewers trained by the research project recruited and obtained consent for participants. A comparison of participants and non-participants revealed no statistically significant differences in official records of drug or alcohol use, violations, arrests, misdemeanour convictions and felony convictions in a month period.
Non-participants were slightly but significantly more likely to be in jail or prison at the end of the period, suggesting a small bias towards including women who were not incarcerated at 12 months. The final sample participating in the initial interview included women on probation The 57 women not included in the current sample did not differ from the retained in month official records of drug or alcohol use, violations for reasons other than arrests, arrests, misdemeanour convictions or felony convictions.
Between November and November , one of 19 trained interviewers met privately with each woman in a location convenient to her, such as a private office in the probation or parole department or a public place, such as a library. Interviews took from one to three hours, with most lasting about two hours.
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During the two interviews, with separate questions for each type of benefit, an interviewer asked the study participant whether she currently received cash, housing and food assistance. This measure considers more than employment by incorporating information on problems associated with poverty i.
At the initial interview, non-economic risks for recidivism and strengths that predict low recidivism were also assessed with the WRNA. The multi-linearity of five elemental themeshuman condition, theoretico-philosophical streams, social constructs and intervention, international social development and, finally, society, science and values offers a prismatic view of the authors previously published sixteen books.
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