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The nature of labour: understanding socio-environmental crises through agri-food systems 
Daniela Ana (Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Economics in Transition Economies)
Natalia Buier (University of Barcelona)
Stefan Voicu (University of Bologna)
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Susana Narotzky (Universitat de Barcelona)
China Sajadian (Vassar College)
Thursday 25 July, -, -
Time zone: Europe/Madrid
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Short Abstract:

This panel brings together ethnographically informed explorations of the re-articulation of labour and nature in contemporary agri-food systems and the contribution its analysis can make to understanding the compound socio-environmental crises of the present.

Long Abstract:

Agri-food systems are at the forefront of the compound socio-environmental crises of the present. We are in a period of turbulence which heightens the contradictions arising from the production of agricultural commodities underwriting the global political economy. It is now widely acknowledged that the metabolic circuits linking human and non-human nature through food production have engendered global transformations. Under recurrent pressures of binding ecological limits, agri-food systems have been historically confronted with cyclical crises of reproduction that entail searches for new fixes and the creation of new frontiers of extraction and exploitation. This panel aims to bring together theoretically ambitious ethnographic explorations that tackle the problem of articulating labour and nature within contemporary agri-food systems. It invites contributions aimed at answering questions such as: How do the attempts to contain the rising contradiction between use value and exchange value within accumulation pathways transform the political economy and discursive regimes of food provisioning? And how do pressures arising from ecological limits reshape the valuation of labour and land within agri-food food systems? Have recent developments such as the COVID-19 crisis resulted in meaningful reappraisals of the role of agricultural labour in broader processes of socio-ecological reproduction? While agroecology and food sovereignty approaches have called for an overhaul of agri-food systems, have they been able to tackle the situatedness of local-global connections in contemporary food provisioning? How can wage labour constitute itself as a socio-environmental subject within a transition away from agro-industrial production?

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Thursday 25 July, 2024, -
Session 2 Thursday 25 July, 2024, -