17/03/2017 - Article
This work provides a synthesis of recent research on the evolution of agriculture and food in a capitalist system. It is based on approaches not well known in France such as international political economics and ecological economics.
It studies agricultural processing in terms of ecology, history and geopolitics and traces specific aspects of agriculture and food in the 21st century. Lastly, it proposes theoretical approaches with a view to renewing the agricultural economy.
At a time of robots and digital everything, land (habitat, agriculture, landscape, planet) and food (body and soul) are major concerns for the media and political circles. Oil and the wealth it brought had meant that we forgot the fact that land and food are the very foundation of human society. The 2008 "food crisis" that shook several continents reminded governments of the issues surrounding food security. After decades of surpluses and falling agricultural commodity prices, the question of the value of land and agriculture is back with a vengeance. The questions of health and of human rights now play a greater role in public policy and in the drafting of food standards. Trans-national social movements have seized upon the question of the future of agriculture and food, and of the "good life".
To fuel the debate on the future of land and food, a book, Transformations agricoles et agroalimentaires, looks at the socialization of agriculture, in other words its role in agricultural policy (primarily national) and in the organization of markets on a national and global level. To do so, it takes a detached view, on three timescales. The first is that of the planet. The second is that of metabolic regimes, the ways in which humanity, at different stages of its development, has used materials and energy. The third is that of capitalism, with a succession of hegemonic systems (which does not exclude multiple polarities).
The book recounts recent research by economists, sociologists, historians and agronomists from various countries. All the research covered concerned the role of agriculture in the evolution of capitalist systems.
Transformations agricoles et agroalimentaires - Entre écologie et capitalisme
B. Daviron, G. Allaire
Editions Quae, 2017