Food at the intersection of sovereignties: Tracing the loss of food sovereignty for Turkish state and farmers

Torun Atış, Nuran
Global food sovereignty movement claims a certain state of autonomous existence for small farmers, farming communities, and states within the food systems. Turkish state and society have passed through a neoliberal transformation since early 1980s with a significant acceleration in the last twenty years. Isolation of economic policies from politics, and adoption of neoliberal agricultural policies have been going hand in hand with restructuring of the state through legal-institutional regulations conditioned and promoted by global neoliberal governance. This process has resulted in transfer of sovereignty from state and citizens to global corporate capital. In the course of this transformation, small agricultural producers and peasants were dispossessed and lost control over their means of production, mainly the land, labour and seeds. Problematizing the boundaries of sovereignty within food sovereignty theory and suggesting a multi-scalar conception of sovereignty, this dissertation aims to answer following two research questions: i) What are the disciplinary processes of "new constitutionalism" restructuring the state and driving neoliberal transformation of agriculture to the detriment of food sovereignty in Turkey? and ii) What are the manifestations of food sovereignty in daily farming practices and perceptions of small agricultural producers? In this respect, certain factors of dependency, commodification, and dispossession were identified in farmers' lives in relation to retreat of the state from agriculture. After all, capacity of food sovereignty theory to serve extension of global opposition front in diverse geographies including Turkey against corporate food regime was elaborated in this dissertation.


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Citation Formats
N. Torun Atış, “Food at the intersection of sovereignties: Tracing the loss of food sovereignty for Turkish state and farmers,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2022.