3 years ago

Reproducing vulnerabilities in agri‐food systems: Tracing the links between governance, financialization, and vulnerability in Europe post 2007–2008

Interconnected sets of vulnerabilities have emerged in the European food system since 2007–2008, raising concerns about food security in a region with arguably some of the most advanced and prosperous economies and environmental governance frameworks. Historically, this is suggesting the current “double jeopardy” problem in food system vulnerability—with systemic declines both in sustainability (the ability of the food system to ecologically renew itself) and food security (the ability of a population to access sufficient nutritional foods and feed itself). By focusing on both drivers and impacts of food system vulnerabilities in the European Union and United Kingdom, this paper explores a grounded and relational approach to financialization—recognized as a key expression of recent growing vulnerabilities. Through the prism of the current socio‐economic pressures facing food producers, and the emergence of potentially “stranded assets” in the agri‐food system more generally, the analysis seeks to show how the combined relationships between neo‐liberalized governance and the market volatilities encouraged by new rounds of financialization are creating “nested” vulnerabilities. As we conclude, a critical, grounded, and systemic understanding of food system vulnerabilities thus becomes a key feature and precursor for potentially developing more resilient agri‐food systems—both regionally and globally.
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