Food sovereignty movement activism in South Korea: national policy impacts?
The transnational agrarian movement La Via Campesina (LVC) seeks to reestablish food sovereignty authority within national borders by removing agriculture from the WTO system. The WTO is a membership organization of participating nation-states that have agreed to abide by the rules of the WTO governance regime. Nominally, at least, changes in these governance rules must be approved by the nation-state members. This paper examines the extent to which South Korean affiliate organizations of LVC, the Korean Peasant League and the Korean Women Peasants Association, have been successful in placing food sovereignty issues on the national agri-food policy agenda in South Korea that challenge the WTO’s neoliberal global governance regime for agriculture. In effect, the success of transnational movements like LVC in challenging global institutions may rest on how well their member affiliates are able to play domestic agri-food politics.
KeywordsFood sovereignty Korean Peasant League Korean Women Peasants Association La Via Campesina South Korea Transnational agrarian movements WTO
The authors would like to acknowledge Stephen Scanlan and four anonymous reviewers for their helpful revision comments.
- Abelmann, Nancy. 1997. Reorganizing and recapturing dissent in 1990s South Korea: The case of farmers. In Between resistance and revolution: Cultural politics and social protest, ed. Richard G. Fox, and Orin Starn, 250–276. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.Google Scholar
- Abelmann, Nancy. 1996. Echoes of the past, epics of dissent: A South Korean social movement. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
- Amenta, Edwin. 2005. Political contexts, challenger strategies, and mobilization: Explaining the impact of the Townsend plan. In Routing the opposition: Social movements, public policy, and democracy, ed. David S. Meyer, Valerie Jenness, and Helen Ingram, 29–64. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
- Borras, Saturnino M., Jr. 2008. La Via Campesina and its global campaign for agrarian reform. Journal of Agrarian Change 8(2 and 3): 258–289.Google Scholar
- Borras, Saturnino M., Jr., Marc Edelman, and Cristobal Kay. 2008. Transnational agrarian movements: Origins and politics, campaigns and impact. Journal of Agrarian Change 8 (2 and 3): 169–204.Google Scholar
- Choi, Jae-kwan. n.d. Thesis on the concept of food sovereignty and a framework for its realization. Seoul, Korea: Korea Peasants League.Google Scholar
- Desmarais, Annette Aurelie. 2007. La Via Campesina: Globalization and the power of peasants. Ann Arbor, MI: Pluto Press.Google Scholar
- DLP, n.d. The Democratic Labor Party: An introduction. Seoul, Korea: Democratic Labor Party.Google Scholar
- ERS-USDA. 2009. South Korea briefing room. http://www.ers.usda.gov/Browse/view.aspx? Subject=CountriesRegions. Accessed 21 Oct 2010.
- GRAIN Briefing. 2008. Seized! The 2008 land grab for food and financial security. http://www.grain.org/go/landgrab. Oct.
- Hart-Landsberg, Martin. 1993. The rush to development: Economic change and political struggle in South Korea. New York: Monthly Review Press.Google Scholar
- Jhee, Byong-Kuen. 2008. Anti-Americanism and electoral politics in Korea. Political Science Quarterly 123(2): 301–318.Google Scholar
- Jurenas, Remy and Mark E. Manyin. 2010. U.S.-South Korean beef dispute: Agreement and status. CRS Report for Congress (January 26, RL 34528). Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service.Google Scholar
- Kim, Eun-Gyoo and James W. Hamilton. 2006. Capitulation to capital? OhmyNews as alternative media. Media, Culture and Society 28(4): 541–560.Google Scholar
- Kim, Hyojoung. 2008. Micromobilization and suicide protest in South Korea, 1970–2004. Social Research 75(2): 543–578.Google Scholar
- Kim, Jeong-Ho, and Hye-Jung Kang. 2006. Structural change and bipolarization of Korean agriculture. Journal of Rural Development 29(4): 53–72.Google Scholar
- Kim, Seung-Kuk. 2000b. Changing lifestyles and consumption patterns of the South Korean middle class and new generations. In Consumption in Asia: Lifestyles and identities, ed. Chua Ben-Huat, 61–81. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Kim, Sunhyuk. 2000c. The politics of democratization in South Korea: The role of civil society. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press.Google Scholar
- KWPA. 2010. Our kitchen gardens (uri toet bat). Seoul: Korea Women’s Peasant Association.Google Scholar
- Lee, Kang-ro. 2005. Critical analysis of Anti-Americanism in Korea. Korea Focus 13(2): 74–98.Google Scholar
- Lee, Namhee. 2007. The making of Minjung: Democracy and the politics of representation in South Korea. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
- Lewis, Linda S. 2002. Commemorating Kwangju: The 5.18 movement and civil society at the millennium. In Korean society: Civil society, democracy, and the state, ed. Charles K. Armstrong, 165–186. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- McMichael, Philip. 2008b. Peasants make their own history, but not just as they please … Journal of Agrarian Change 8(2 and 3): 205–228.Google Scholar
- Menser, Michael. 2008. Transnational participatory democracy in action: The case of La Via Campesina. Journal of Social Philosophy 39(1): 20–41.Google Scholar
- Nicholson, Paul (in conversation with Isabelle Delforge). 2008. Via Campesina: Responding to the global systemic crisis. Development 51(4): 456–459.Google Scholar
- Sikkink, Kathryn. 2005. Patterns of dynamic multilevel governance and the insider–outsider coalition. In Transnational protest and global activism, ed. Donatella della Porta, and Sidney Tarrow, 151–173. Lanham, MD: Rowan & Littlefield Publishing Group, Inc.Google Scholar
- Tarrow, Sidney and Doug McAdam. 2005. Scale shift in transnational contention. In Transnational protest and global activism, eds. Donatella della Porta and Sidney Tarrow, 212–147. Lanham, MD: Rowan & Littlefield Publishing Group, Inc.Google Scholar
- The Economist. 2009. Buying farmland abroad: Outsourcing’s third wave. May 23: 61–63.Google Scholar
- von Braun, Joachim and Ruth Meinzen-Dick. 2009. “Land Grabbing” by foreign investors in developing countries: Risks and opportunities. IFPRI Policy Brief 13 (April). Washington, DC: International Food Policy Research Institute.Google Scholar