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date: 25 May 2022

Abstract and Keywords

Transnational food law is a growing field of practice that has emerged with the globalization of food and agricultural systems. This chapter analyzes the role of food and agriculture as a legally constitutive site of struggle. As both a basic need and an economic commodity, food is an object around which struggles over the organization of markets, the authority of legal institutions, and the regulation of powerful actors have consistently fomented. After surveying the role of agrarian struggles in shaping early international law, this chapter analyzes the contentious regulatory space of transnational food security governance. It argues that contemporary governance is shaped by competing paradigms—a “productivist” and “food sovereignty” paradigm—which transnational actors struggle to translate across a variety of regulatory institutions, arenas, and processes. This chapter thereby demonstrates how food and agricultural governance remain a critical space of struggle over the democratic and regulatory possibilities of global governance.

Keywords: food security, food sovereignty, global governance, productivism, agroecology, neoliberalism, multistakeholder initiatives, public-private partnerships, global trade

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