Fridolin Krausmann, Ernst Langthaler,
"Food regimes and their trade links: A socio-ecological perspective"
, in Ecological Economics, Vol. 160, Seite(n) 87-95, 2019, ISSN: 0921-8009
Food regimes and their trade links: A socio-ecological perspective
Sprache des Titels:
The concept of food regimes has become a prominent theory in political economy. We here provide socioecological underpinning of the food regimes theory and thereby connect it closer to an ecological economics perspective. We quantify physical trade with main agricultural commodities between world regions from the mid-19th century to 2016 and ask how trade patterns relate to issues of resource use, in particular, to land use, soil fertility and the energetic basis of agriculture. Agricultural exports rose from a few million t/yr around 1870 to 1.4 billion t/yr in 2016. Growth in trade and production did not follow a continuous trend, periods of accelerated growth alternating with phases of relative stability can be distinguished. Rather than directed modernization we observe shifts in unequal relations of power, physical exchange and environmental pressure between changing centers and peripheries. The periods of growth in trade match with the periodization of food regimes. We find that regime shifts are closely related to changes in societies energy metabolism, in the resource base of agricultural production and also to agro-ecological crisis. Our analysis emphasizes that food regimes not only reflect changes in power relations in the world system, but also changes in societies natural relations.