Contested Sustainabilities: The Post-carbon Future of Agri-food, Rural Development and Sustainable Place-making


  • Jennifer Sumner University of Toronto



Food, Governance, Post-carbon Economy, Rural Development, Sustainable Food Systems, Sustainable Place-making


First paragraphs:

Terry Marsden has enormous experience work­ing in the fields of agri-food, rural develop­ment, and sustainable place-making. He digs deeply into his experience in this book, looking back over the recent history of food and rural development, analyzing current trends in these areas, and looking forward in an age of great uncertainty, both envi­ron­mental and political, to better understand and promote sustainable food systems.

He begins by positing a significant transition from neoliberalism and production agriculture to a looming choice between what he refers to as the bio-economy and the eco-economy. He describes the former as being “characterized by exogenous development through corporate controlled produc­tion of biological products (fuels, mass, technology, enzymes, genomics) for global markets” (p. 92). Backed by the Organization for Economic Coop­eration and Development (OECD) and endorsed by the European Union, the bio-economy is the post-carbon offspring of neoliberalism: a little more aware of its shortcomings, but still enmeshed in a business-as-usual paradigm. In essence, it “incorporates the multiple ways in which rural and urban people and their institutions manage and manipulate the biosphere which sustains their existence and creates economic value out of its non-renewable and renewable resources” (p. 22). . . .


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Author Biography

Jennifer Sumner, University of Toronto

Adult Education and Community Development Program at OISE

Cover of "Agri-food and Rural Development: Sustainable Place-making" by Terry Marsden



How to Cite

Sumner, J. (2019). Contested Sustainabilities: The Post-carbon Future of Agri-food, Rural Development and Sustainable Place-making. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 8(4), 219–220.