Amidst the backdrop of attention to populism in general, it is instructive to understand populism through social movements focused on food and agriculture. Agrarian populism is particularly salient in agrifood movements. Agroecology has been widely identified as a domain of populist claims on environmental and social governance surrounding agricultural–ecological and political–economic systems. As authoritarian populist leaders gain power throughout the world at a time of expanding economic globalization and contingent socioecological crises, contests over populism in agrifood regimes can highlight current dynamics relevant for formative evaluation of alternative political agroecology strategies and of populist environmental governance more broadly. Can populism be harnessed by radical political agroecologies to simultaneously contest the hydra-headed nature of capitalism, authoritarianism, and pollution and implement forms of environmental governance based on repair? We argue that populist agroecology has untapped potential for repair and that the mechanism of focusing social movements on repair might help address some of the more problematic authoritarian tendencies of populism. Key Words: agroecology, agrofood activism, emancipatory rural politics, food movement, populism, rural geography.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The work from which this article emerged was supported by four programs at the University of Minnesota: Global Programs and Strategy Alliance’s Global Spotlight Program, Center for Austrian Studies, Institute for Advanced Studies AgriFood Collaborative, and the Institute on the Environment Resident Fellows program.
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