International Seminar

Work, production and livelihoods in the global agri-food system.

Mucem (I2MP Fort St Jean), Marseille (France), 15th and 16th March 2018.

The development of high-value export agricultures has led to the radical transformation of particular rural spaces in the Mediterranean in the last three decades. This has been related to the transformation of the production and consumption of foods at the global level, characterised by the increase of power of transnational business and financial capital, the opening of economies (McMichael, 2009) and the evolution of modes of consumption in the Global North (Friedland, 2004).

The objective of this seminar is to contribute to a reflexion on these dynamics of the global agri-food system through localised studies that allow us to understand how these productive systems are implanted in different territories and what their consequences are for social and environmental sustainability. In particular, we intend to address the reconfiguration of migratory dynamics, the social organisation of work and of the production of global agri-food chains, in the context of the current economic crisis. Despite the centrality given to the Mediterranean region in this seminar, proposals that deal with these questions in other geographical regions will also be welcomed.

From a perspective of research engaged with social transformation, this seminar has been established to meet three objectives:

1. To consolidate a research network focused on the Mediterranean that has been developing through the recent seminars since 2011, and broaden it to include research undertaken in other regions of the world (such as South and North America, Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa).

2. To raise awareness amongst the general public of the social and political implications of the production and consumption of food in the context of globalisation. For this reason the seminar will be composed of a variety of activities (screenings, an exhibition, open talks …) and will take place in the Museum of the Civilizations of Europe and the Mediterranean ( Mucem), in Marseille.

3. To reflect on the different initiatives and struggles taking place in the agricultural and food sector together with civil society organisations such as NGOs, trade unions, and workers organisations and promote their international collaboration, as well as with the academic sector.

We are principally interested in the following questions:

1. The governance of global agri-food chains. The relations, practices and strategies of the different actors that compose the chains and their impact on the organisation of production and work, with special attention to:

– the establishment and role of diverse types of labels, norms and agents of certification of quality.
– non-governmental organisations (NGOs) as new global actors in the regulation of labour and environmental conditions in enclaves of global production.

2. The role of political, juridical, and social borders in the configuration of the production and reproduction in agro-export zones ( migration policies, free-trade agreements, off-shoring, etc.)

3. Struggles, resistance and subjectivities of workers and their possible connections with consumer movements.

4. Continuities and ruptures in the formation of labour markets in the current context of capitalist re-accumulation and in the deepening of neo-liberalism (Harvey, 2004; Federici, 2010).

5. Migration experiences, working and living conditions of workers.

There is particular interest in contributions that:

– Take into account the connection between the productive and reproductive spheres and the interrelationships among different systems of social stratification (gender, class and ethnicity, etc, within the global geopolitical frame) in the organisation of labour, production and the experiences of workers.

– Incorporate an historical perspective.

Proposals should be sent to the following e-mail address, mam2018@lest.frtaking into account the following:

– Abstracts should be a maximum of 350 words and be accompanied by the name and affiliation of the author/authors.
– The deadline for proposals is the 15th November 2017.
– Languages: English or French.

Scientific Committee

Lucio Castracani, Université de Montréal (Canada).
Alessandra Corrado, Universidade della Calabria (Italia).
Fréderic Décosse, CEMCA-CNRS-MAEDI (México).
Mustapha El Miri, LEST-Aix Marseille Univ. (France).
Anna Mary Garrapa, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (Mexico).
Emmanuelle Hellio, Mucem-LEST-Aix Marseille Univ. (France).
Lydia Medland, University of Bristol (UK).
Delphine Mercier, LEST-CNRS (France).
Juana Moreno Nieto, CNE-LEST-Aix Marseille Univ. (France).
Alicia Reigada Olaizola, Universidad de Sevilla (España).
Béatrice Mesini, TELEMME-CNRS (France).
Valeria Siniscalchi, EHESS (France).
Ingrid Tucci, LEST-CNRS (France).

See below the links to this call for paper in pdf format, in english and french.

Call for papers

Appel à communications