1st Edition

Food System Transformations Social Movements, Local Economies, Collaborative Networks

Edited By Cordula Kropp, Irene Antoni-Komar, Colin Sage Copyright 2021
    234 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    234 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book examines the role of local food movements, enterprises and networks in the transformation of the currently unsustainable global food system. It explores a series of innovations designed to re-integrate sustainable modes of food production and encourage food sovereignty.

    It provides detailed insights into a specialised network of social actors collaborating in novel ways and creating new economic arrangements across different geographical locales. In working to devise ‘local solutions to global problems’, the initiatives explored in the book represent a ‘second-generation’ food social movement which is less preoccupied with distinctive local qualities than with building socially just food systems aimed at delivering healthy nutrition worldwide. Drawing on fieldwork undertaken in sites across Europe, the USA and Brazil, the book provides a rich collection of case studies that offer a fresh perspective on the role of grassroots action in the transition to more sustainable food production systems.

    Addressing a substantive gap in the literature that falls between global analyses of the contemporary food system and highly localised case studies, the book will appeal to those teaching food studies and those conducting research on civic food initiatives or on environmental social movements more generally.

    Chapters 1, 3, 7, and 8 of this book are freely available as downloadable Open Access PDFs at http://www.taylorfrancis.com under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND) 4.0 license. 

    1. Grassroots initiatives in food system transformation: the role of food movements in the second ‘Great Transformation’

    Colin Sage, Cordula Kropp, and Irene Antoni-Komar

    PART I Transformative food movements

    2. Women, agroecology and "real food" in Brazil: from national movement to local practice

    Isabelle Hillenkamp

    3. Alternative food politics: the production of urban food spaces in Leipzig (Germany) and Nantes (France)

    Cordula Kropp and Clara Da Ros

    4. Co-designing cities: urban gardening projects and the conflict between self-determination and administrative restrictions in German cities

    Andrea Baier and Christa Müller

    PART II Transformative food economies

    5. Food cooperatives as diverse re-embedding forces: a multiple case study in Belgium

    Julien Vastenaekels and Jérôme Pelenc

    6. Innovating locally for global transformation: intermediating fluid, agroecological solutions – examples from France, the USA, Benin and South America

    Allison Marie Loconto

    7. Cost effects of local food enterprises: supply chains, transaction costs and social diffusion

    Niko Paech, Carsten Sperling, and Marius Rommel

    PART III Transformative local networks

    8. Transformative communities in Germany: working towards a sustainable food supply through creative doing and collaboration

    Irene Antoni-Komar and Christine Lenz

    9. Context-specific notions and practices of ‘solidarity’ in food procurement networks in Lombardy (Italy) and Massachusetts (USA)

    Cristina Grasseni

    10. Transformative governance and food practices for sustainability in and by ecovillages: a German case study

    Iris Kunze

    11. An anthropological reflection on urban gardening through the lens of citizenship

    Robin Smith


    Cordula Kropp is a sociologist and an expert for sustainability research, science technology studies, social innovation, technology and risk assessments. She is professor of sociology of environment and technology at the University of Stuttgart, Germany, and director of the Research Center for Interdisciplinary Risk and Innovation Studies (ZIRIUS).

    Irene Antoni-Komar is a cultural scientist and a research associate at the Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg, Germany. She works on sustainable food economy and transdisciplinary research and is co-editor of Transformative Unternehmen und die Wende in der Ernährungswirtschaft (2019).

    Colin Sage is an independent scholar who works on the interconnections of food systems, environment and prospects for greater civic engagement around food. He is the author of Environment and Food (2012) and co-editor of Food Transgressions (2014) and Transdisciplinary Perspectives on Transitions to Sustainability (2017).