In their paper, "Indicators for social and economic coping capacity - moving toward a working definition of adaptive capacity," Yohe and Tol outline eight key determinants used to evaluate a system's adaptive capacity and eventually guide policymaking decisions. The goal of this framework is "to produce unitless indicators that can be employed to judge the relative vulnerabilities of diverse systems to multiple stress and to their potential interactions." Working from surveys and interviews of artisanal fishermen in the disaster-vulnerable Estuario de Caráquez, Ecuador, this paper proposes an additional determinant - dependency. In the case of the estuary, many of the determinants are weak and yet adaptive options are available that depend on outside aid or the presence of foreigners. With dependency as a determinant, a discussion of adaptive capacity can balance the influx of resources, human capital, and legitimacy foreigners bring against the increased vulnerability of depending on outside actors., 2007, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/22, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)
Through food sovereignty – a framework for daily action, social activism and global organizing – campesinos, indigenous people, and Afro-descendants in Colombia are constructing and transforming approaches to agriculture, food systems, and sociopolitical engagement. Subalterns are working towards social transformation and the articulation of new visions and realities of development, modernity, and globalization. These actors and organizations work to construct empowering places for marginalized peoples engaged in the food system in attempt to counter the commodification of labor and food, the erasure of localities, and the destruction of small-scale agriculture through an assertion of rights, identities, and ways of life.
Subaltern people and communities have begun developing, articulating and connecting practices and discourses of food sovereignty to affirm the importance of small-scale food systems and their actors in response to the marginalizing and destructive forces of globalization. Colombian campesinos, indigenous peoples and Afro-descendants practice food sovereignty work as a strategy of resistance and contestation against such forces, in diverse actions from the preservation and planting of native seeds to the establishment of culturally-legitimated legal restrictions on GMO crop production. But they also engage deeply with globalization, negotiating and appropriating the potential advantages that globalization, as a heterogeneous and fluctuating force, can offer. Indigenous peoples living in remote, rural communities have adopted techniques and strategies in their agroecological work and political organizing from other communities; in 2013 and 2014, activists and agriculturalists used social media to coordinate a large series of agrarian strikes across the country. Within the food sovereignty framework and movement, actors and activists are creating small-scale, horizontally structured, place-based forms of engagement that also incorporate greater linkages across communities, regions and nations. These expressions of food sovereignty, and many others across Colombia, facilitate dynamic and complex engagements with the processes of globalization. This thesis examines the framework of food sovereignty as it is constructed and realized in contemporary Colombia. Through translocality, a politics of place and a politics of difference, and an examination of a broad range of experiences, this thesis proposes that food sovereignty is a unique, critical framework for campesinos, indigenous peoples and Afro-descendants in their efforts to negotiate with the forces of globalization and create transformative, alternative realities. This thesis, building from my own field research, deepens the relatively new field of food sovereignty studies, especially in the realm of alternative political geography, and broadens the untended field of contemporary Colombian sociopolitical and cultural analysis. The translocal approach of the experiences and the analysis indicates that the food sovereignty practices and principles of marginalized peoples in Colombia could have significant implications for subaltern actors throughout the world., 2015, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/1492, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)
Robbins, Tali Leah (Tali Leah Robbins) (Author), (Maria Ospina, Ann Wightman) (Thesis advisor)
Since the 1990s, the Colombian coffee industry has seen the emergence of a dynamic specialty coffee sector. The coffee sold in this niche market is distinguished from the mainstream commodity coffee market by its exceptional material, symbolic, and in-person service quality. For the hundreds of thousands of rural citizens engaged in coffee production in Colombia, the specialty sector offers new possibilities of increasing both their profits and their power. This thesis explores the experiences of rural farmers participating in the specialty sector, examining whether the opportunities offered by specialty coffee enable farmers to preserve their rural forms of economic and cultural rationality. By constructing an alternative framework for active engagement with the capitalist world-system, more aligned with the realities of rural life, this thesis will argue that the specialty coffee industry represents a clear departure from the historical exclusion of peasant communities from power., 2015, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/1381, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)