Global governance/politics, climate justice & agrarian/social justice

Global governance/politics, climate justice & agrarian/social justice: linkages and challenges

an international colloquium

4-5 February 2016, The Hague

Final Programme (02 Feb, 2016)


Colloquium Papers (updating)

No. Title Author(s)
1 Trade and the Sustainability Challenge for Global Food Governance Jennifer Clapp
2 Indigenous Food Cultures: Pedagogical Implication for Environmental Education Suleyman Demi
3 Global Governance of Traditional Knowledge and its Justice Implications: A Case for an Alternative Approach

Zuhre Aksoy

4 ‘The town is surrounded:’ From Climate Concerns to Life under Wind Turbines in La Ventosa, Mexico Alexander Dunlap
5 Blue growth: saviour or ocean grabbing? Mads Barbesgaard
6 Brazil’s agricultural politics in Africa: More Food International and the disputed meanings of ‘family farming’ Lídia Cabral, Arilson Favareto, Langton Mukwereza and Kojo Amanor
7 Flexibilising global agri-biomass value chains: a techno-market fix for resource burdens?  Les Levidow 
8 The Contradictions of Corporate Water Stewardship Certification Jeroen Vos
9 Finance and land grabbing: the impact of biofuels certifications on Human Rights in Latin America Christelle Genound
10 The Master’s Tools: Voluntary Social and Environmental Standards and the Politics of Legitimization in East Africa’s Extractive Sector  Charis Enns
11 Large-scale forest plantations for climate change mitigation? New frontiers of deforestation and land grabbing in Cambodia Arnim Scheidel  and Courtney Work
12 The German Press Discourse on the (New) Green Revolution in Sub-Saharan Africa Anika Mahla
13 European farmers and the “Greening” of the CAP: A Critical Discourse Analysis  Alberto Serra and Jessica Duncan
14 Global Politics, Capitalism, Socio-Ecological Crisis, and Resistance: Exploring the Linkages and the Challenges Mark Tilzey
15* Flexible governance: Connecting climate disasters and land transactions in India Nikita Sud
16 Is there a Global Environmental Justice Movement? Joan Martinez-Alier, Leah Temper, Daniela Del Bene, and Arnim Scheidel
17 Life in a Time of Food Price Volatility: Popular Politics and Global Governance Naomi Hossain, Patta Scott-Villiers and Alexandra Wanjiku Kelbert
18 Blue Growth and Ocean Grabbing: A Historical Materialist Perspective on Fisheries in East Africa Florian Doerr
19 The Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security in Colombia: Towards democratic land-based resource control Ben McKay, Flavio Bladimir Rodríguez Muñoz, and Darío Fajardo

Pushing the Potential of a Human Right to Science: Precarious Labourers and Basic Rights in Conservation Science and Bioprospecting

Benjamin D. Neimark and Saskia Vermeylen

21 Towards an Agroecology of Knowledges: Recognition, Cognitive Justice and Farmers’ autonomy in France Brendan Coolsaet
22 The Great Commodification and its paradoxes.  A Historical, Comparative and Global Perspective on Land Regimes and Land Reforms Hanne Cottyn and Eric Vanhaute
23 Who Controls the Food System? Judith Hitchman
24 VGGT as a Tool for Improving Access to Land and the Responsible Management of Natural Resources: Based on the Experience of Lazio Region and Rome Municipality  Leonardo Gallico and Paolo Groppo
25 Misconceiving ‘Seasons’ in Global Food Systems: The Case of the EU Seasonal Workers Directive Lydia Medland
26  “Who Will Feed Cuba”? Agrarian Transformation, Peasants and Food Production Max Spoor and Louis Thiemann
27 Expanding the Corporate Food Regime in Africa through Agricultural Growth Corridors: The Case of Tanzania Mikael Bergius
28 Economics of fairness within the food supply chain Petr Blizkovsky and Vincent Berendes
29 Redistribution as social justice within the intersection of global governance and climate change mitigation Andrew M. Fischer
30 Deepening local democracy for a more just global governance regime Emmanuel O. Nuesiri

Neoliberal Sustainability? The Biopolitical Dynamics of “Green” Capitalism

Karijn van den Berg
32 Large Scale Investments in Infrastructure: Competing Policy regimes to Control Connections  Kei Otsuki, Murtah Read, and Annelies Zoomers
33  Mapping Domains of Food Access and Consumption: a Conceptual Tool for Appreciating Multiple Perspectives within Food System Governance   Laura Pereira and Scott Drimie
34 Opium meets Development: Exploring the Opium Question in Contemporary Afghanistan Mariam Morid 
35  Yields of Dreams: Marching West and the Politics of Scientific Knowledge in the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa) Ryan Nehring 
36 Global Benchmarking Practices and the Development of a Progressive Art of Government: the Case of Land Governance Stefano Golinelli
37  The challenge of interpretation and implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security in Latin America: Agenda for discussion and moving forward   Zoe Brent, Alberto Alonso-Fradejas, Saturnino M. Borras Jr., Gonzalo Colque and Sergio Sauer  
39*  Impacts of large-scale agricultural investments on small-scale farmers in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania:A Right to Food Perspective  Hannah Twomey, Christina M. Schiavoni, Dr. Benedict Mongula
40 Alternative agricultural investment by and for small-scale food providers in Tanzania: A Right to Food & Food Sovereignty Perspective Christina M. Schiavoni, Salena Tramel, and Dr. Benedict Mongula

Interpreting and using the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security in Guatemala: Challenges for democratizing land, fisheries and forests tenure 

Salena F. Tramel and Jose Luis Caal Hub

On the relationship between land tenure and land degradation. A case study in the Otjozondjupa Region (Namibia) based on satellite data

Pablo Gilolmo & Agustín Lobo
44 Running out of farmland? Investment discourses, unstable land values and the sluggishness of asset making   Oane Visser 
45  Exodus of the ‘Surplus’: Apprehending the Mediterranean Migration Crisis   Nelson Owusu Ntiamoah 
46 Food Sovereignty Agenda of Transnational Rural Social Movements in the UN Global Governance Mauro Conti 
47  Recognition for Justice in Post-Colonial Tropical Forests of Amazonia and West Africa   James Fraser 
48 Conflict, collusion and corruption in small-scale gold mining in Ghana: Chinese miners and the state Gordon Crawford & Gabriel Botchwey
49  Hydropower development and natural resource allocation between competing users and uses: evidence from Southeast Asia and Africa  Giuseppina Siciliano and Frauke Urban 
50 The Politics of Capitalist Enclosures in Nature Conservation:  Governing Everyday Politics and Resistance in West Acholi, Northern Uganda David Ross Olanya
51  “Erst Kommt das Fressen”: The Neoliberal Restructuring of Agriculture and Food in Greece   Harry Konstantinidis 

Gaining Land and Gaining Ground? The Popular Agrarian reform by the Landless Rural Workers’ Movement (MST) in Brazil

Camila Azevedo
53*  Commercialisation of Stevia-derived sweeteners by violating the rights of indigenous peoples, misleading marketing and controversial SynBio production  Benjamin Luig, et al 
54  Bioenergy in the EU: Contradictions Driving Excess and Unequal Land Use for Industrial Biomass Production  Bente Hessellund Andersen 
55  Agrarian Political Economy and Modern World Capitalism: the Contributions of Food Regime Analysis   Henry Bernstein 
56 Food Regime for Thought Philip McMichael
57  Food Regime Analysis and Agrarian Questions:  Widening the Conversation  Harriet Friedmann
58 Restorative Land Use as Appropriate Technology: a System Account Jenneth Parker
59  Land Confiscations and Collective Action in Myanmar’s Dawei Special Economic Zone Area: Implications for Rural Democratization  Yukari Sekine 
60 Without Rain or Land, Where Will Our People Go?  Climate Change, Land Grabbing, and Human Mobility: Insights from Senegal and Cambodia  Sara Vigil
61*  Neither Romantic Peasants nor Bloody Capitalists: ‘Double Cycles’ of the Small-scale Chinese Farming in Russia   Yunan Xu and Natalia Mamonova
62* The Corporate Capture of Food and Nutrition Governance Revisited: A Threat to Human Rights and People’s Sovereignty Flavio Luiz Schieck Valente
63*  The Global Governance of Flex Trees: Considerations for Environmental, Agrarian and Social Justice   Markus Kröger
64 Reinvigorating the Public Sector: the Case of Food Security, Small-scale Farmers, Trade, and Intellectual Property Rules  Susan H. Bragdon
65  Food Sovereignty, Agroecology and Resilience: Competing or Complementary Frames?   Rachel Bezner Kerr, et al
66* Paper 1; Paper 2; Paper 3; Paper 4 Peter Newell, et al
67*  Land rights and investment treaties: Exploring the interface Lorenzo Cotula
68* The Climate Question Meets the Agrarian Question Climate, Capital and Agrarian Environments  Marcus Taylor 

Security for whom in a time of climate crisis? 

Nick Buxton and Ben Hayes
70* Global food governance in an era of crisis: Lessons from the United Nations Committee on World Food Security Nora McKeon
  * incomplete or published papers  


ISS, Transnational Institute (TNI), Foodfirst Information & Action Network (FIAN), ICCO, Ecofair project, Hands on the Land Project, ICAS, LDPI, BICAS,

Journal of Peasant Studies


ICCO, NWO, Ford Foundation, European Commission, etc.

Key contacts:

Jun Borras:

Sofia Monsalve:


4-5 February 2016


The convergence of multiple crises: food, energy, environmental, climate change and finance – as well as the relationship of these with the rise of important global political economic players: BRICS countries and middle income countries (MICs) has, separately and combined, have triggered profound agrarian and environmental transformations in the Global South and North. There is a global rush to control natural resources: land, water, forest in order to produce food, fuel, energy; for climate change mitigation and adaptation purposes; or simply, for money to make more money in the increasing financialization of agriculture, nature, food system and farmland. Commodities are reinvented. The rise of flex crops – crops that have multiple and flexible uses that straddle not only a single value chain, but interlocking value chains; indeed, value web. Old issues requiring conventional international governance interventions have persisted. Land restitution remains a key demand for displaced people. New issues requiring different types of governance instruments and principles have emerged. How does one govern not just a ‘value chain’ – but a more complex and fluid ‘value web’? The character of nation-states and popular claim-making from below by ordinary villagers and grassroots organizations have been transformed, at least partially.

Global governance has been interpreted in various ways, competing on most occasions. Same set of international governance principles, e.g. ‘free, prior and informed consent’ (FPIC) can be invoked by fundamentally competing interests: by corporate interest or by poor villagers and their allies. All sectors and actor talk about ‘regulation’ and ‘transparency – but they interpret these in competing and even contradictory ways. Key state/non-state actors try to shape others, and/but in turn are themselves shaped in the process of these multi-actor/multi-level encounters.

How do we make sense of all these? What can the academics say that are useful to practitioners and activists – and vice versa? Yet, we are keen not just in canvassing what everyone else is saying about this complex converging issues and policy and political questions. Our interest lies mainly in the intersection of social justice and global governance – in the era of climate change and continuing global land rush. That is, if one’s starting point is to seek social justice – partisan, partial and biased in favour of the marginalized social classes and groups in various societies of the world – amidst the changing patterns of social relations partly brought about by the changes in the international political economic and ecological terrain, then where does global governance stand? What/which global governance principles, institutions, actors and instruments can be mobilized to seek, defend, strengthen or extend social justice – and how? What are the contentious debates, and why does it matter for academics, practitioners and activists to take these seriously?