Balancing Power Relations for Food Security


  • Molly D. Anderson Middlebury College



Policy, International, Food Sovereignty, FAO, CFS, Committee on World Food Security


First paragraphs:

Opinions about how to better govern food systems to prevent food shortages and food price jumps have diverged since the food crisis of 2007–2008, with battle lines drawn between camps that have little common ground other than the shared understanding that hunger is a huge yet ultimately tractable problem. On one side are interests claiming that increased production is essential; on the other side are those who say increased control by hungry people of access to resources and markets are much more important, and increasing production will do little to solve hunger without concomitant sociopolitical changes.

One of the consequences of the global failure to predict and protect vulnerable people from food price jumps was the reform of the United Nations Committee on World Food Security (CFS) in 2009. Understanding the CFS and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), which hosts the CFS's annual meetings, is critical to understanding how decisions are playing out that affect whether millions of people have sufficient healthy food to eat, as well as control over how that food is produced, by whom, and for whose benefit.

Imagine a knowledgeable guide to the CFS who accompanies you through the halls of the FAO — playing Virgil to your Dante — while explaining the background, history, and important actors who have shaped current issues. Nora McKeon is just such a guide: she brings an unparalleled perspective on the CFS, having worked as civil society liaison for the FAO for years and now regularly engaging in Rome with CFS activities and in Africa with grassroots food sovereignty activists. Food Security Governance: Empowering Communities, Regulating Corporations picks up the story and questions she introduced in her previous book, The United Nations and Civil Society: Legitimating Global Governance — Whose Voice? (Zed Books, 2009)....


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Author Biography

Molly D. Anderson, Middlebury College

William R. Kenan Professor of Food Studies, Middlebury College; 119 Franklin Environmental Center on Hillcrest; Middlebury, Vermont 05753 USA; +1-802-443-3644.
Cover of "Food Security Governance"



How to Cite

Anderson, M. D. (2015). Balancing Power Relations for Food Security. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 6(1), 213–214.