Agriculture and Human Values

, Volume 35, Issue 2, pp 319–329 | Cite as

Cooptation or solidarity: food sovereignty in the developed world

  • Mark Christopher Navin
  • J. M. Dieterle


This paper builds on previous research about the potential downsides of food sovereignty activism in relatively wealthy societies by developing a three-part taxonomy of harms that may arise in such contexts. These are direct opposition, false equivalence, and diluted goals and methods. While this paper provides reasons to resist complacency about wealthy-world food sovereignty, we are optimistic about the potential for food sovereignty in wealthy societies, and we conclude by describing how wealthy-world food sovereignty can be a location of either transnational solidarity or (at least) nonharmful forms of cooptation.


Food ethics Food sovereignty Food justice Solidarity 



Border Agricultural Workers Project


Black lives matter


Food sovereignty


La Confédération Paysanne


La Vía Campesina


Men’s Rights activists


National Family Farm Coalition


Canadian National Farmers Union



We thank the participants in the 2015 Michigan State University Workshop on Food Justice and the 2017 McGill University Workshop on Food Justice, as well as three anonymous referees, for helpful criticisms and comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Philosophy DepartmentOakland UniversityRochesterUSA
  2. 2.Department of History and PhilosophyEastern Michigan UniversityYpsilantiUSA

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