The political economy of food production in emerging Asia: Exploring the possibilities for a labor-centered development

Panel in the 7th Annual International ADI Conference on Food, Feeding and Eating In and Out of Asia

Convenor: Luisa Steur, University of Copenhagen

In liberal discourse, Asia’s “emerging markets” are celebrated as the potential harbingers of middle-class formation, democratization and above all, of course, economic prosperity. A focus on the political economy of food production in contemporary Asia allows us to study these processes of capitalist restructuring in more critical detail and to ask what, indeed, are the effects of these processes on the possibility of labor to benefit from and, more fundamentally, shape them. What do specific case studies of the political economy of food production in Asia contribute to our understanding of emergent forms of collective mobilization?  

The panel invites papers that analyze new forms of agricultural or livestock production in Asia but also those that consider how ostensibly more “traditional” agricultural settings are reshaped by a rapidly changing context. Panelists are invited to consider how contemporary food regime restructuring in Asia creates new possibilities and limitations for labor-centered development. 

Luisa Steur is an Assistant professor at the Department of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen.