Originating in a 1983 Mexican Government Program, the term ‘food sovereignty’ was coined in 1996 by La Via Campesina—a global peasant network—to address concerns within the civil society for food security. Rather than to accept the neoliberal framework of mainstream food security definition and governance, the food sovereignty movement seeks to view food security as the right of peoples to define their own food and agriculture systems with limited corporation intervention. As a result, food production should be geared toward the domestic and local markets and not toward international trade that only benefits corporations. This food sovereignty movement was inducted into China in 2013 just as China’s agricultural systems were shifting toward a more corporate-centric structure that increasingly exploits the small-scale farmers. A question was hence raised: How have the global civil society networks influenced the Chinese civil society and promoted China’s local food sovereignty movement? Through the world society theory, the author has identified social forums, such as international conferences and social media channels, as an expedient means for interactions. However, as the Chinese government continues to develop a corporate-centric food security governance system and tighten its civil society space, the impacts of China’s food sovereignty movement remain unclear.
Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, Vol.31, No.5, pp.667-695