The D to Ds of Deepening Agricultural Knowledge for Just and Sustainable Food Systems: From Discipline to Democratising to Decoloniality

Authors: Colin Anderson*, Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience at Coventry University, People's Knowledge Collective ., www.peoplesknowledge.org
Topics: Agricultural Geography, Rural Geography, Communication
Keywords: agroecology, food sovereignty, discourse, framing, agriculture, social movements, transformation, transition
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/3/2019
Start / End Time: 12:40 PM / 2:20 PM
Room: Roosevelt 5, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This article examines the role of knowledge in transformations for more just and sustainable food system(s). We unpack different ways knowledge is used in agriculture, focusing our efforts on understanding how a political agroecology (one that addresses power imbalance) can and must be enabled through transforming knowledge processes. Our review identifies three key processes evident in relation to knowledge and agroecology. The first we call Disciplining which emphasises knowledge that conforms to the dominant power structures in society reflecting a focus on expert-elite knowledge, commercial knowledges, reductionism, technocraticism, and disciplinary silos. The second mode, Democratising, involves a reactionary approach to the first approach (disciplining) knowledge that seeks to shift power away from expert-led knowledge towards people including farmers and other citizens as key agents of knowledge work and emphasising participatory approaches, knowledge co-production, transdisciplinarity, etc. The final mode, largely underdeveloped in the literature, reflects a critical deepening of democratising knowledge approach. Decolonising knowledge involves first understanding knowledge democratisation within the colonial matrix of power – unpacking historical-current processes that shape the world along racist, classed-, patriarchical, heteronormative and other dimensions of colonial oppressions. Secondly, this analysis necessitates a deep and reflexive praxis of decolonialising knowledge work.

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