Land use and land sovereignty for conservation/eco-agriculture: global analysis; Local food systems

Program or topic

Land use and land sovereignty for conservation/eco-agriculture: global analysis
Local food systems (USDA/AFRI grant: ‘Food Dignity’)

Department(s) or unit(s)

Dept. of Development Sociology

Contact Information

Philip McMichael
Professor, Development Sociology

Program goals

  • Examining the climate and food security implications of recent global land deals
  • Building an undergraduate minor at Cornell focused on local food system sustainability

Brief description

The land use/sovereignty project investigates whether and to what extent land acquisitions/grabs
for food and energy security represent a transition in the global ‘food regime’ — whereby land
becomes increasingly a speculative asset, with its use driven by market prices for food or biofuels.
Under these circumstances the question of global agriculture’s trajectory (industrial agriculture for
global markets vs small- and medium-scale diverse farming for local markets and climate security)
has significant policy implications regarding biodiversity and carbon sequestration.

Curriculum project concerns establishing a set of core and elective courses across the campus for an
undergraduate minor in food system sustainability studies, including engagement with local community
organizers and activities.

For more information

Web Link:

Philip McMichael’s web page

Key Publications:

  • McMichael, P. (2012). The land grab and corporate food regime restructuring. The Journal of Peasant Studies, 39(3-4):681-701.
  • McMichael, P. (2011). Food system sustainability: questions of environmental governance in the new world (dis)order. Global Environmental Change, 21:804-812.
  • McMichael, P. (2011) “Effects of industrial agriculture on climate change and the mitigation potential of small-scale agro-ecological farms,” 14 co-authors, CAB Reviews: Perspectives in Agriculture, Veterinary Science, Nutrition and Natural Resources, 6, No. 020: 1-18.
  • McMichael, P. (2009). Contradictions in the global development project: geo-politics, global ecology and the ‘development climate,’ Third World Quarterly, 30:251-266.

Category: Policy, Terrestrial

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