Download: Food Security & Food Sovereignty

By UChicagoCIS


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Hannah Wittman, Philip McMichael, and Rachel Bezner Kerr discuss gaps between the framework of food security as defined by international organizations and the more challenging grass-roots notion of food sovereignty. Food sovereignty, as articulated by groups such as La Via Campesina, is the right of people to define agricultural and food policy, including prioritizing local agricultural production, access of peasants and landless people to land, water, seeds, and credit. Wendell Barry once wrote, "If you eat, you are involved in agriculture." As advocates of food sovereignty emphasize, agriculture and food are inextricably linked.

Hannah Wittman
"Peasant Rights or Food Riots? The challenges of institutionalizing food sovereignty"

Philip McMichael
"Food Sovereignty versus Food Security? A Global Conundrum"

Rachel Bezner Kerr
"Agroecology and food sovereignty in Malawi"

This is the third program in the Center for International Studies series on "Food (In)Security: Access, Equity, Frameworks." The event is cosponsored by the Center for International Studies and University Communications.

For more information about the Food (In)Security series, visit:

Continue the conversation on Twitter using #CISFoodSecurity.

The World Beyond the Headlines lecture series is a project of the Center for International Studies. Speakers at past World Beyond the Headlines events include former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, 2004 Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai, journalists Neil MacFarquhar and James Fallows, economist Jeffrey Sachs, and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

Learn more about the series at