The concept of food sovereignty has been enshrined in a number of countries’ Constitutions around the world without any clear consensus around what state-sponsored ‘food sovereignty’ initiatives might entail given the complexity and interconnectedness of the global food system. In the vanguard of this movement at the national level has been the so-called ‘pink tide’ of Latin America – namely Venezuela, Ecuador, and Bolivia. As a constitutional right, food sovereignty presents a significant opening to promote a citizen’s revolution of the food system, but is such a proposal possible or desirable as a top-down initiative? The concept itself is inherently peopleled as it implies constructing (or deconstructing) a food system that is defined, led, controlled, and accessed in a culturally appropriate and ecologically sustainable way by local people in a given territory. At the same time, state intervention is a necessary function to confront the global food system, dismantle unequal agrarian structures, and recognize the autonomy of people and communities in defining and controlling their food and agricultural systems. In different geographies and societies of food sovereignty, it is necessary to evaluate how state and social actors interact in the pursuit of a national food sovereignty strategy, with particular attention to the relations of control and access to decision-making and physical resources.

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Keywords food sovereignity, Latin America, agriculture
Persistent URL hdl.handle.net/1765/50600
Note Paper presented at the Yale University International Conference 'Food Sovereignty: A Critical Dialogue', New Haven, Connecticut, 14 and 15 September 2013
McKay, B, & Nehring, R. (2013). The 'State' of Food Sovereignty in Latin America: Political Projects and Alternative Pathways in Venezuela, Ecuador, and Bolivia. EUR-ISS-PER. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/50600