The politics of food in Southern Africa: A food regime/movements framework

Du Plessis, Elizabeth Johanna (2016-03)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2016.

Thesis

English Abstract: This study seeks to uncover the prevailing food ideology of Southern Africa, by exploring South Africa, Malawi, and Zimbabwe’s approach to food security. The explorative discussion is aided by three supplementary research questions: 1) how does the Southern African context influence the region's ideologies around food?; 2) what is Southern Africa's institutional response to food insecurity?; and 3) how does the Southern African institutional response to food security differ from the actual orientation towards food and the economic model on which it is based? The theoretical framework employed is Holt-Giménez &Shattuck’s food regime/food movements framework, which has its foundation in Freedman and McMichael’s food regime analysis. To contextualise the study, the development of the global food regime is traced as it manifested in three historical eras: the settler-colonial regime (1870-1914); the surplus-regime (1945-1973); and the corporate food regime. The transition between these regimes is explained by drawing on the Gramsican notion of hegemony; as Britain’s dominance in the global political economy decreased, the United States came to influence food politics, subsequently resulting in the second food regime. Amidst globalisation, which saw a decrease in the power of nation states, the food regime was restructured once again as neoliberalism came to shape food production and distribution. However, the 2007-2008 food price crisis served as a turning point when this dominant food ideology came under threat, as indicated by widespread food riots in both the developed and developing world. Consequently the need for a new food regime arose. The effects of the crisis were especially detrimental in Southern Africa which is characterised by low levels of food security. The socio-economic evolution of food insecurity in Southern Africa can largely be attributed to the role the region played throughout the development of the global food regime; each era having a lasting impact on the formation of political institutions, economic rationales, and social configurations in the region. As the marginalised position of Southern Africa within the global food regime became more apparent, and amidst the backdrop of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals, attempts to address food security manifested in an array of food security frameworks. South Africa, Malawi, and Zimbabwe (the three dominant agricultural countries in Southern Africa) each adopted a different official approach to food security, and subsequently these countries offer great insights into both the challenges in the region, and more importantly, into how the state, private sector and international relations intersect to produce distinct food security ideologies.

AFRIKAANS OPSOMMING: Opsomming Hierdie studie poog om die heersende kos-ideologieë van Suider-Afrika te ontbloot, deur die verkenning van Suid-Afrika, Malawi, en Zimbabwe se benadering tot voedselsekuriteit. Die ondersoekende bespreking word aangehelp deur drie aanvullende navorsingsvrae: 1) hoe beïnvloed die Suider-Afrikaanse konteks die streek se ideologieë rondom kos?; 2) wat is Suider-Afrika se institusionele reaksie aangaande voedselonsekerheid?; en 3) hoe verskil die Suider-Afrikaanse institusionele reaksie op voedselsekuriteit van die werklike oriëntasie teenoor kos en die ekonomiese model waarop dit baseer is? Die teoretiese raamwerk maak gebruik van Holt-Gimenez & Shattuck se voedsel-regime/voedsel-bewegings raamwerk, wat sy wortels in Freedman en McMichael se voedselregime analise het. Om die studie te kontekstualiseer, is die ontwikkeling van die globale voedsel-regime nagespoor soos dit gemanifesteer het in drie historiese eras: die setlaar-koloniale regime (1870-1914); die surplusregime (1945-1973); en die korporatiewe voedsel-regime. Die oorgang tussen hierdie regimes word verduidelik deur gebruik te maak van die Gramsicaanse idee van hegemonie; namate Brittanje se oorheersing in die globale politieke ekonomie afgeneem het, het die Verenigde State van Amerika ingetree om voedsel-politiek te beïnvloed, wat sodoende na die tweede voedsel-regime gelei het. Te midde van globalisering, wat 'n afname in die mag van die nasie-staat tot gevolg gehad het, was die voedsel-regime weereens herstruktureer toe neoliberalisme prominensie verkry het deur die globale produksie en verspreiding van kos te bepaal. Die 2007-2008 voedselpryskrisis het egter gedien as 'n keerpunt waar hierdie dominante kos-ideologie bedreig geword het, soos aangedui deur wydverspreide voedsel-onluste in beide die ontwikkelde en ontwikkelende lande. Gevolglik het die behoefte aan 'n nuwe voedsel-regime ontstaan. Die gevolge van die krisis was veral nadelig in Suider-Afrika wat gekenmerk word deur lae vlakke van voedselsekuriteit. Die sosio-ekonomiese ontwikkeling van voedselonsekerheid in Suider-Afrika kan grootliks toegeskryf word aan die rol wat die streek regdeur die ontwikkeling van die globale voedsel-regime gespeel het; elke era het 'n blywende impak op die vorming van politieke instellings, ekonomiese denke en sosiale konfigurasies in die streek gehad. Namte die gemarginaliseerde posisie van Suider-Afrika binne die globale voedsel-regime duideliker geword het, en te midde van die agtergrond van die Verenigde Nasies se Millennium Development Goals, het pogings om voedselsekuriteit aan te spreek, gemanifesteer in 'n verskeidenheid van voedselsekuriteit-raamwerke. Suid-Afrika, Malawi, en Zimbabwe (die drie dominante landbou lande in Suider-Afrika) het elk 'n Stellenbosch University https://scholar.sun.ac.za iv verskillende amptelike benadering tot voedselsekerheid, en daarom bied hierdie lande waardevolle insig omtrent beide die voedsel-uitdagings in die streek, maar ook oor hoe die staat, die private sektor en internasionale betrekkinge deurkruis om verskillende voedselsekuriteit-ideologiee te produseer.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/98624
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