Food for Justice: Power, Politics, and Food Inequalities in a Bioeconomy Preliminary Research Program
The Junior Research Group Food for Justice examines normative questions of inequalities and justice, rights and democracy that arise in disputes surrounding the question “how are we going to feed the world?”. Increasingly, citizens perceive the global food system as part of the historical causes of the ecological crisis and the persisting hunger in the world. Although reasons for these causal links are long known (the use of food for profit, the gap between production and consumption, conflicts over land and water, exploitative labour relations, the energy matrix and waste generation, among others), research on food security and the bioeconomy tend to rely on the same, searching for technological fixes to a profit-oriented model exploiting living matter. What is needed to deepen the debate is more knowledge about which food system citizens desire, which solutions are already there to address the social concerns and how to redirect public policies towards a fair, democratic and sustainable food system. Combining theoretical perspectives on global entangled inequalities with social movement research, Food for Justice will look at challenges and solutions both in Europe (with a focus on Germany) and in Latin America (focusing on Brazil). The research consists of case studies of social mobilization targeting injustices in the food system and case studies of social technologies and political innovations, such as agroecology and alternative food networks. Food for Justice aims at providing a theoretical and conceptual framework, grounded on empirical research, to analyse social and political experimentations that address inequalities based on class, gender, race, ethnicity, rurality, citizenship, thus building fair, democratic and ecological food relations.