Seeds, agricultural systems and socio-natures: Towards an actor-network theory informed political ecology of agriculture
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Watts, N., & Scales, I. (2015). Seeds, agricultural systems and socio-natures: Towards an actor-network theory informed political ecology of agriculture. Geography Compass, 9 225-236. https://doi.org/10.1111/gec3.12212
Agriculture has recently been the subject of considerable research and policy attention. Events such as the 2008 ‘world food price crisis’ and concerns over the future of global food security have led to calls for a ‘New Green Revolution’, with an emphasis on boosting yields through new transgenic crop varieties. However, critics have raised concerns over the growing role of global agribusiness and transnational capital in agriculture, as well as the potential social and ecological impacts of new technologies. An analysis of emerging agricultural trends thus demands a framework that is able to negotiate the complex multi-scalar interplay between environmental, technological, scientific, political and economic factors. In this paper, we focus on the potential contribution of a synthesis between political ecology and Actor–Network Theory to our understanding of agricultural networks. We review the literature with a view to teasing out key insights and sketching out future research priorities. We focus on questions surrounding power and agency, the political ecology of scale and the role of situated knowledges and practices.
Natasha Watts was supported by an Economic and Social Research Council Studentship (Award KFW/301419246). Ivan Scales was supported by an Early Career Fellowship from the Centre for Research on the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Cambridge and a Royal Geographical Society–Institute of British Geographers. Small Research Grant.
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/gec3.12212
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/247905