Food sovereignty policies and the quest to democratize food system governance in Nicaragua
Agriculture and Human Values
This article explores the question of the efficacy of state-level food sovereignty projects for democratizing local control over food systems by examining the case of Nicaragua, where the Ortega administration (2007–present) adopted food sovereignty into policy. The main task of food sovereignty is to transform the power relations that govern food systems. This article builds on the previous work of food sovereignty scholars by arguing that devolving power to local territories is necessary but insufficient for deepening democracy, and rather must be coupled with broader transformations in state-society relations. In particular, it argues that how power is exercised in different sites and scales of decision-making is critical for gauging the extent to which local democratic control of food systems is realized. This study examines the implementation of two models of food governance that emerged in Nicaragua in the years immediately following Ortega’s election in 2007. It finds that while the two models created opportunities to deepen democracy, the state’s lack of support for autonomous citizen mobilization and their attempts to co-opt spaces for participatory democratic governance have strongly contributed to the failure of these mechanisms to enhance local control over food systems.
Godek, W. (2021). Food sovereignty policies and the quest to democratize food system governance in Nicaragua. Agriculture and Human Values, 38 (1) https://doi.org/10.1007/s10460-020-10136-3