A study in resource-making: the financialization of food and agriculture

International Workshop

Date: 22 May 2015
Venue: ISS
Convenor: The Food and Finance Research Group
Sponsor: Institute for Global Law and Policy - Harvard Law School
Co-Sponsors: European Research Council (ERC); International Institute of Social Studies; Eurasian Agrofood and Land initiative (EURAL)

About the workshop

In December 2014, we applied for and received a Research Grant from the Institute for Global Law and Policy (Harvard Law) to enable us to organize a first meeting on Food and Finance.

The idea for this workshop is to gather academics and practitioners who work broadly on topics related to food and/or finance, and engage in constructive discussion and reciprocal learning. The main objective is to learn from each other and create a basis for a future projects on different issues relating to linkages between food and finance.

The aim of the workshop is to gather ideas, suggestions and provocative thoughts about the different ways in which people and institutions are involved in studying issues related to food and finance and what the main problems and difficulties are that researchers encounter today when they deal with these topics.

Ultimately, the aim is to establish a network of common research interests, across disciplines and sectors, and to gain a better understanding of the next steps that we could take as a collective and as individuals interested in working on food and finance.

Four themes

The workshop will be focused around thematic discussions, broadly in line with the research interests and expertise of the organizers and participants. Four themes (streams) have been identified, as follows:

  1. Financial Speculation in Food Commodity Markets
  2. Financing Seeds for the Future
  3. From Farmers to Financiers and Financiers to Farmers
  4. Agricultural Development Finance




  • Anna Chadwick (UK), PhD researcher at the London School of Economics
  • Tomaso Ferrando (Italy), Resident Fellow, Harvard IGLP & PhD Student, Sciences Po Law
  • Anne Saab (The Netherlands), PhD researcher and part-time teacher and the Department of Law, London School of Economics
  • Tania Salerno (Canada), PhD researcher and lecturer at the Anthropology Department, University of Amsterdam
  • Oane Visser (The Netherlands), Senior Lecturer /Assistant Professor at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) in The Hague, of Erasmus University Rotterdam

The Food & Finance Group

The Food and Finance Research Group was born out of our common research interests and our desire to pull together our different approaches and ideas relating to the area of food. We are a group of young academics from different backgrounds culturally and academically (law, political sciences, international political economy, agrarian studies), but we share an interest in the relationships between food and finance.

Within the 'Food and Finance' research project, we seek to relate our respective research inquiries to broader questions of financialization processes and their relationship to global food systems. We have a particular interest in drawing on and contributing to critical debates in development policy and critical legal studies. We seek to explore and uncover the vulnerability of global food systems to increasing technological and institutional control.

The event and dinner are sponsored by the Institute for Global Law and Policy – Harvard Law School.

Institute for Global Law Policy - Harvard Law School

We are grateful to EURAL, the European Research Council and the Institute for Social Studies for the essential support to the organization.