Ecology, Capitalism and the New Agricultural Economy: The Second Great Transformation, 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

Ecology, Capitalism and the New Agricultural Economy

The Second Great Transformation, 1st Edition

Edited by Gilles Allaire, Benoit Daviron


294 pages | 4 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2018-11-27
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With increasing pressure on resources, the looming spectre of climate change and growing anxiety among eaters, ecology and food are at the heart of the political debates surrounding agriculture and diet. This unique contribution unravels agri-environmental issues at different spatial levels, from local to global, documenting the major shifts in agriculture from a long-term perspective.

The book begins by exploring the changes in the industrialisation and socialisation of agriculture over time, through the lens of institutional economics including The French Regulation School and Conventions Theory. Building on Polanyi’s ‘Great Transformation’, the chapters in this volume analyse long-term and contemporary changes in agriculture and food systems that have occurred throughout the last few centuries. Key chapters focus on the historical changes in provisioning and the social relations of production, consumption, and regulation of food in different socio-political contexts. The future of agriculture is addressed through an analysis of controversial contemporary political claims and their engagement with strategies that aim to improve the sustainability of agriculture and food consumption.

To shed light on ongoing changes and the future of food, this book asks important environmental and social questions and analyses how industrial agriculture has played out in various contexts. It is recommended supplementary reading for postgraduates and researchers in agricultural studies, food studies, food policy, the agri-food political economy and political and economic geography.

Table of Contents

1 Introduction: industrialisation and socialisation of agriculture, towards new regimes Gilles Allaire and Benoit Daviron

PART I Novel approaches and theories of global agri-economies in the second Great Transformation

2 The ambivalence of the capitalist socialisation of agriculture Gilles Allaire

3 Regulation Theory and transformation of agriculture: a literature review Jean-Marc Touzard and Pierre Labarthe

4 Convention Theory in Anglophone agri-food studies: French legacies, circulation and new perspectives Emmanuelle Cheyns and Stefano Ponte

5 The new autocracy in food and agriculture Lawrence Busch

PART II Ongoing transformations of the agri-economy

6 Energy, biomass and hegemony: a long history of transformations of agricultures Benoit Daviron and Gilles Allaire

7 Food Regime Analysis: a reassessment John Wilkinson and David Goodman

8 The Holstein cow as an institution of the agricultural modernisation project: commodity or common good? Julie Labatut and Germain Tesnière

9 Transitions towards a European bioeconomy: Life Sciences versus agroecology trajectories Les Levidow, Martino Nieddu, Franck-Dominique Vivien and Nicolas Béfort

PART III Cases studies: competition in markets and policies

10 Organic farming in France: an alternative project or conventionalisation? Thomas Poméon, Allison Loconto, Eve Fouilleux and Sylvaine Lemeilleur

11 Japanese agri-food in transition D. Hugh Whittaker and Robert Scollay

12 Transforming the dairy sector in post-communist economies: actors and strategies Pascal Grouiez and Petia Koleva

13 Large-scale land investments and financialisation of agriculture: an analysis based on agro-financial filières Antoine Ducastel and Ward Anseeuw

14 Conclusion: alternative sketches of a Second Great Transformation Benoit Daviron and Gilles Allaire

About the Editors

Gilles Allaire is an economist and Emeritus Director of Research at the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA). He was trained as agronomist engineer. His main research topics concern institutions, markets and agricultural policies; more specifically, rural employment, rural development, genetic resources, knowledge systems, organic agriculture movement, geographical indications and alternative food networks. He directed several national and European research projects. He has been a visiting scholar in the Institute of International studies, University of California at Berkeley. He is member of the editorial board of the Revue de la regulation.

Benoit Daviron is Senior Researcher at the Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement (CIRAD) and consulting professor in SupAgro Montpellier, France. He has been a visiting scholar in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics of the University of California at Berkeley and responsible for economics and social sciences in CIRAD. For the last 20 years he has worked on agricultural trade and food policies in developing countries with a special focus on the questions of governance and regulation.

About the Series

Critical Food Studies

Critical Food Studies
The study of food has seldom been more pressing or prescient. From the intensifying globalization of food, a world-wide food crisis and the continuing inequalities of its production and consumption, to food's exploding media presence, and its growing re-connections to places and people through 'alternative food movements', this series promotes critical explorations of contemporary food cultures and politics. Building on previous but disparate scholarship, its overall aims are to develop innovative and theoretical lenses and empirical material in order to contribute to - but also begin to more fully delineate - the confines and confluences of an agenda of critical food research and writing. Of particular concern are original theoretical and empirical treatments of the materialisations of food politics, meanings and representations, the shifting political economies and ecologies of food production and consumption and the growing transgressions between alternative and corporatist food networks.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Earth Sciences / Geography
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Human Geography