ASEAS 8(1) – Food Sovereignty

Issue 8(1) was published in June, 2015. Find all article downloads below!


  • Sovereignties of Food: Political Struggle and Life-World Encounters in Southeast AsiaChristiane Voßemer, Judith Ehlert, Michelle Proyer, & Ralph Guth
    DOI 10.14764/10.ASEAS-2015.1-1
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Aktuelle Südostasienforschung / Current Research on Southeast Asia

  • Food Sovereignty and Conceptualization of Agency: A Methodological DiscussionJudith Ehlert & Christiane Voßemer
    DOI 10.14764/10.ASEAS-2015.1-2
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    The latest food crisis hit food producers and consumers – mainly in the Global South – hard and refocused attention to the question of global food security. The food sovereignty movement contributes to the growing re-politicization of the debate on ‘how to feed the world’. From an actor-oriented perspective, the article presents a methodological reflection of the concept of food sovereignty in opposition to the concept of food security, both agendas highly relevant in terms of food policies in Southeast Asia. After framing the two concepts against the development politics and emergence of global agriculture following World War II, this paper elaborates on how actors and agency are conceptualized under the food security regime as well as by the food sovereignty movement itself. With reference to these two concepts, we discuss in which ways an actor-oriented methodological approach is useful to overcome the observed essentialization of the peasantry as well as the neglect of individual peasants and consumers as food-sovereign actors.
    Keywords: Actor-Oriented Research; Agency; Development Paradigms; Food Security; Food Sovereignty
  • Where Peasants Are Kings: Food Sovereignty in the Tagbanua Traditional Subsistence SystemSophia M. M. Cuevas, Juan E. C. Fernandez, & Imelda DG. Olvida
    DOI 10.14764/10.ASEAS-2015.1-3
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    Food sovereignty is predicated upon the rights of communities to determine culturally meaningful methods of agricultural cultivation in order to ensure the security of their diets and their lifeworld. The article provides an ethnographic study of two Tagbanua indigenous communities in the province of Palawan, Philippines, and analyzes the relation between swidden agriculture and food sovereignty. Traditional swidden farming is an integrative system that defines social relationships, structures a spiritual belief system, and builds a fundament of the Tagbanua identity. As a cultural praxis, it is also central to the manifestation of food sovereignty within the market system, constantly being challenged by internal exigencies – as opportunities for cultural reproduction are limited by changing lifestyles – and external interventions from both private and public sectors. The article discusses how the Tagbanua subsistence cultivation system serves as the main mechanism through which indigenous cultural communities assert their independence from the market system, thus establishing local control over food and food production systems.
    Keywords: Indigenous Peoples; Philippines; Poverty; Seed Sovereignty; Subsistence Farming
  • Urban Brokers of Rural Cuisine: Assembling National Cuisine at Cambodian Soup-Pot Restaurants Hart N. Feuer
    DOI 10.14764/10.ASEAS-2015.1-4
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    Pre-prepared food venues (or soup-pot restaurants) in Cambodia and other Asian countries make their decisions about what to cook in a complex food–society nexus, factoring in their culinary skill, seasonality of ingredients, and diners’ expectations for variety. As such, soup-pot restaurants exist as tenuous brokers between rural food customs and the prevailing expectations of city dwellers. In urban areas, they are a transparent window into seasonality and market cycles, as well as an opportunity to encounter culinary diversity and participate in the consolidation of an everyday ‘national cuisine’. Soup-pot restaurants, in contrast to other restaurant formats, craft an experience that balances the agricultural and social dynamics of rural eating customs with city comforts. Typically, soup-pot restaurants can accomplish this while also serving as a space of dietary learning, providing meals that are culturally understood to be balanced and nutritious, and garnering support for local cuisine from across the socio-economic spectrum. As a site of research, these restaurants can be seen as potential innovators for managing the consequences of industrialization on food and agriculture, facilitating democratic daily practices of food sovereignty.
    Keywords: Cambodia; Food; National Cuisine; Nutrition; Urbanization

  • The Alternative Agriculture Network Isan and Its Struggle for Food Sovereignty – a Food Regime Perspective of Agricultural Relations of Production in Northeast Thailand Alexandra Heis
    DOI 10.14764/10.ASEAS-2015.1-5
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    This paper uses the food regime analysis to visualize relations of domination and exploitation within the realm of food production and supply. Starting with an outlook on how the food regime plays out in the Thai context, the author goes on to elaborate its critical aspects fundamental for a food sovereignty critique: growing concentration of power on the side of transnational corporations, exploitative relations of production in agro-industry, and devastating effects for nature, small-scale producers, and increasingly also for consumers. In Northeast Thailand, the Alternative Agriculture Network Isan (AAN Isan) is struggling to secure income and subsistence agriculture for its members. This is achieved through a number of activities, some of which are introduced here in detail. Producer cooperatives, organic farming, green markets, or a local herb medicine center all aim at empowerment within the present market situation by using aspects of the health discourse to support their arguments and at the same time reinforcing a specific local politics of identity, rooted in notions of culture and religion.
    Keywords: Alternative Agriculture; Food Regime; Food Sovereignty; Peasant Identity Politics; Northeast Thailand

Forschungswerkstatt / Research Workshop

  • Food Sovereignty: A Framework for Assessing Agrarian Responses to Climate Change in the Philippines Amber Heckelman & Hannah Wittman
    DOI 10.14764/10.ASEAS-2015.1-6
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Im Dialog / In Dialogue

  • “Plant Some Plants, Plant Some Hope, Plant Some Future”. Urban Gardening at Lingnan University of Hong Kong: An Interview With Prof. Kin-Chi Lau. Rainer Einzenberger & Michaela Hochmuth
    DOI 10.14764/10.ASEAS-2015.1-7
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    Prof. Kin-Chi Lau is currently Associate Professor at the Department of Cultural Studies, Lingnan University, Hong Kong.1 Her areas of interest cover cultural studies, contemporary China studies, and comparative literature as well as critical pedagogy and gender studies. She promotes the idea of a transition campus at Lingnan University and is one of the initiators of the organic Urban Gardening Project2 there. She is also a founding member of the Global University for Sustainability.3 Rainer Einzenberger conducted this interview with Prof. Kin-Chi-Lau on the topic of urban gardening in Hong Kong via Skype in March 2015. Michaela Hochmuth was in charge of the editing. The interview portrays the Urban Gardening Project, its history, structures, and organizational characteristics. It engages with the participants of the project and their challenges and difficulties in realizing it. The broader and complex concepts of food sovereignty, food security, and ‘commons’ build the contextual background of this dialogue.

Netzwerk Südostasien / Network Southeast Asia

  • Building Interregional Networks Among Young Researchers: IFAIR’s 2nd EU-ASEAN Perspectives Dialogue Kilian Spandler
    DOI 10.14764/10.ASEAS-2015.1-8
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Rezensionen / Book Reviews

  • Book Review: Pichler, M. (2014).
    Umkämpfte Natur. Politische Ökologie der Palmöl- und Agrartreibstoffproduction in Südostasien
    Timo Duile
    DOI 10.14764/10.ASEAS-2015.1-9
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  • Book Review: Gravers, M., & Flemming, Y. (Eds.). (2014).
    Burma/Myanmar – Where Now?
    Simon Benedikter & Ute Köster
    DOI 10.14764/10.ASEAS-2015.1-10
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