On 29 April 2019, Christina Schiavoni successfully defended her PhD thesis entitled 'Constructing and Contesting Food Sovereignty: Food Lines, Fault Lines and Seed of Transformation in Venezuela'.
In her research, Ms. Schiavoni showed how an alternative proposal for social and ecological transformation in the face of a converging set of global crises, food sovereignty served as a galvanizing concept for a growing number of movements across the globe. She argued in her thesis that key to theorizing about food sovereignty was drawing lessons from its attempted construction on the ground, as movements and other actors were forced to confront its contradictions, inconsistencies and many gray areas head-on.
Toward such ends, her study advanced a historical, relational and interactive (HRI) framework that approached food sovereignty construction as a historically embedded, continually evolving set of processes that were interactively shaped by state and societal forces, reflecting competing paradigms and approaches. Ms. Schiavoni applied the HRI framework to the case of Venezuela, home to one of the longest-running national- level experiments in food sovereignty construction since the start of its political process known as the Bolivarian Revolution in 1999.