Introduction: In search of better options: Food sovereignty, the right to food and legal tools for transforming food systems

Priscilla Claeys, Nadia C S Lambek

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)


    The stakes for building better food systems are high. Our current path is leaving many behind, destroying the environment and entrenching inequality and systemic poverty. This introduction sets the scene to Rethinking Food Systems and provides an account of the legal and rights-based approaches taken throughout the book. It also begins a discussion on the benefits and limitations to using the law to address hunger and malnutrition. Further, by examining the arguments of the contributing authors and the crosscutting themes in their chapters, this introduction begins to explore the following questions: What are just, sustainable, and equitable food systems? What are the values on which they are built? What tools are available to push for change? What are the advantages and disadvantages of rights-based approaches? Should actors focus on the sub-national, national, regional or global level in their advocacy efforts? And should these actors push for new laws, focus instead on policies and programmes, or put efforts into developing alternative practices? How should they approach the challenge of large-scale land acquisitions in the Global South, intellectual property regimes imposed from above or the growing fragmentation in the international management of food systems? What is and what should be the role of the state in addressing issues of hunger and food insecurity and what role do and should international institutions, consumers and producers play?.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationRethinking Food Systems
    Subtitle of host publicationStructural Challenges, New Strategies and the Law
    EditorsNadia C.S. Lambek, Priscilla Claeys, Adrienna Wong, Lea Brilmayer
    Place of PublicationDordrecht
    PublisherSpringer Verlag
    Number of pages25
    ISBN (Electronic)978-94-007-7778-1
    ISBN (Print)978-94-007-7777-4
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


    • Economic and social rights
    • Food sovereignty
    • Human rights
    • Justiciability
    • Peasant movements
    • Respect, protect and fulfill
    • Right to food
    • State obligations
    • Trade
    • Via campesina

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Environmental Science(all)


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