1st Edition

The Right to Food Guidelines, Democracy and Citizen Participation
Country case studies

ISBN 9781138693630
Published October 31, 2016 by Routledge
230 Pages

USD $160.00

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Book Description

It is now more than a decade since the Right to Food Guidelines were negotiated, agreed and adopted internationally by states. This book provides a review of its objectives and the extent of success of its implementation. The focus is on the first key guideline – "Democracy, good governance, human rights and the rule of law" – with an emphasis on civil society participation in global food governance. The five BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) are presented as case studies: representing major emerging economies, they blur the line between the Global North and South, and exhibit different levels of human rights realisation.

The book first provides an overview of the right to adequate food, accountability and democracy, and an introduction to the history of the development of the right to adequate food and the Right to Food Guidelines. It presents a historical synopsis of each of the BRICS states’ experiences with the right to adequate food and an analysis of their related periodic reporting to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, as well as a specific assessment of their progress in regard to the first guideline. The discussion then focuses on the effectiveness of the Right to Food Guidelines as both a policy-making and monitoring tool, based on the analysis of the guidelines and the BRICS states.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

Food want and political will

Premises and principles of the research

Human rights-based approach: making the right to adequate food tangible

Book outline

2. Food, Human Rights, Democracy and Beyond


Adequate food: a human right

Democracy: fidus Achates

Civil society: ostracised yet unresigned

An undemocratic state of affairs: the neoliberal food system

Food sovereignty: the democratic alternative

From rhetoric to…rhetoric

3. A historical Background of the Right to Adequate Food and the Right to Food Guidelines


The development of international recognition of the right to food: an overview

The Right to Food Guidelines: conception, reception, perception

4. United Yet Unique: the BRICS


Building the BRICSB is for the Federal Republic of Brazil

R is for the Russian Federation

I is for the Republic of India

C is for the People’s Republic of China

S is for the Republic of South Africa

Forged futures, particular pasts

5. Reporting on the Right to Food Guidelines: the Use and Usefulness of CESCR Periodic Reporting within Right to Adequate Food Realisation


CESCR reporting procedures: an overview

CESCR reporting by the BRICS

Reporting on the Right to Food Guidelines

CESCR periodic reporting: soldiering on

Civil society: the missing piece

6. Implementation of Guideline 1 of the Right to Food Guidelines by the BRICS: an Evaluation


Guideline 1.1

Guideline 1.2

Guideline 1.3

Guideline 1.4

Guideline 1.5

7. Assessing the Policy-making Capabilities of the Right to Food Guidelines: How it Upholds and Undermines Right to Adequate Food Realisation


The Right to Food Guidelines: an assessment within reality

Screen State Action: a monitoring tool for civil society

8. Democracy From Below

The Right to Food Guidelines: help or hinder?

Civil society: the discerning factor

The alternative


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Katharine S. E. Cresswell Riol is a doctoral student at the University of Otago, New Zealand. She has a Master's degree from the University of Hohenheim, Germany, and has previously been employed as an academic writing advisor and freelance writer, as well as working and volunteering for several NGOs in the UK, Australia and Canada.


"Through BRICS country case studies, this book critically assesses how national states and civil society use the Human Right to Adequate Food Guidelines to monitor the realization of democratic food governance under rule of law. Its valuable contribution expands the use of human rights instruments and procedures in the context of research methods as well as social change mechanisms." – Anne C. Bellows, Syracuse University, USA

"This timely analysis of the Right to Food Guidelines highlights the importance of the accountability of states and civil society mobilisation in instigating the urgently needed paradigm shift in unjust food systems. Furthermore, the book makes a valuable contribution to how a human rights-based approach can be applied in research."Stefanie Lemke, Coventry University, UK