Agriculture and Human Values 37 (2):311-323 (2020)

The food sovereignty movement arose as a challenge to neoliberal models of agriculture and food and the corporatization of agriculture, which is claimed to have undermined peasant agriculture and sustainability. However, food sovereignty is an ambiguous idea. Yet, a few countries are institutionalizing it. In this paper, we argue that food sovereignty possesses the attributes of a ‘coalition magnet’ and, thus, brings together policy actors that support agricultural reform, but have diverse and often opposing interests, in a loose coalition. This facilitates agenda setting, but there may be problems in policy formulation and implementation stages due to the ambiguous nature of the idea. Consequently, despite including food sovereignty in a country’s constitution and/or legislation, policies and programs related to food and agriculture exhibit the status quo, which is not expected under an alternative food paradigm. We examine this argument in a case study of Nepal, where food sovereignty has been instituted as a fundamental right in the Constitution.
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DOI 10.1007/s10460-019-09988-1
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