Special issue: ‘New Perspectives on Food Democracy’

To be published in "Politics and Governance, Open Access Journal"
Editors: Basil Bornemann (University of Basel, Switzerland) and
Sabine Weiland (Université Catholique de Lille, France)


In recent decades, power and control over food has become highly concentrated. Large, profit-oriented multinationals make critical decisions about how food is produced, traded and marketed. While some consider this a prerequisite for global food security, others see it at the expense of people's livelihoods, justice and sustainability. This latter perspective has given rise to alternative visions of the food system, such as ‘food democracy’.

Food democracy is a multi-faceted political concept that critically points to the limited opportunities for consumers, citizens and civil society to participate in the food system. It envisions food as a place of democratic process: as a reference point for articulating people’s interests, as a driving force for social movements to fight for access to affordable and healthy food; as a reminder of the role of the state in promoting public goods and public interest, etc. The promise of food democracy goes beyond securing food supply and emphasises values such as participation, autonomy, justice and sustainability. Beyond the democratisation of food systems, food democracy is concerned with the problematisation and transformation of established views and practices of democratic governance per se.

With the general intention of broadening and updating existing perspectives of food democracy, this thematic issue aims to shed light on the complex relationship between food and democracy in different governance contexts (countries, political systems) and levels (local, national, global). It combines theoretical and empirical analyses that explore, sharpen and question the potential of ‘food democracy’ as an analytical lens on the current state of food systems on the one hand and as a political idea for transforming the predominant agro-industrial food system on the other.

The contributions are based on questions such as:
- How democratic are current food systems?
- How does food challenge and transform established ideas and practices of democracy?
- What are the prospects and limits of a democratization of food systems?


• Deadline for Abstracts: 15 November 2018

• Deadline for Submissions: 15 March 2019

• Publication of the Issue: September 2019 (as Volume 7, Issue 3)


Authors interested in submitting a paper for this issue are asked to consult the journal's editorial policies  and send an abstract to the Editorial Office by 15 November 2018.


The journal has an article processing charge to cover its costs, so authors are advised to check with their institutions if funds are available to cover open access publication fees. Further information about the journal’s open access charges and institutional memberships can be found here.



Yours N-aerus Coordination Team,
Paola Alfaro d’Alençon, Jakub Galuszka, Paola Piscitelli and Mariano Scheinsohn 

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