Special issue: Food Security and the Contested Visions of Agrarian Change in Africa

Check out my latest article in the Canadian Journal of Development Studies — a special issue on Food Security and the Contested Visions of Agrarian Change in Africa:


The agrarian question revisited: smallholders and corporate food in Egypt

In the decades prior to the 2011 popular uprising in Egypt, a corporate agri-food system grew through the incorporation into supply chains of peasants and smallholders – rather than through their elimination. From this position of integration, smallholders have allied themselves politically with various urban groups to make claims vis-à-vis the very agrarian reform institutions (and related ones) of political modernity that have weakened in Egypt under neoliberalism. In describing the relationship between smallholders and capital accumulation in agriculture and food, this article illuminates the agrarian question of the twenty-first century.

ASA PEWS Panel: The Family and the Market

A Political Economy of World Systems (PEWS) session for ASA conference next year. Consider submitting a proposal for the session:

The Family and the Market in the Longue Durée

As Melinda Cooper shows in Family Values, neoliberalism and the new social conservativism converge in the US in the 1970s to re-establish the private family as the primary source of economic security and a comprehensive alternative to the welfare state. Rather than being a compromise, the embrace of family values for neoliberals like Hayek and Friedmann is overt and central to the project of expanding the market. And neoliberalism and the new social conservativism were largely successful in perpetuating state-sanctioned family values – of monogamy, patrimony, and so on – and the family as a main instrument for the distribution of wealth and income – in the form, for example, of asset price inflation, private savings accounts (e.g. IRAs) – throughout at least the Anglo-speaking countries. This success in re-inventing the family both drew on early-modern poor law tradition and incorporated non-normative family forms (e.g., the gay family) of the 21st century. Despite the evident centrality of the family to the neoliberal social order, academic accounts of neoliberalism tend to relegate the defense of family values “much to the flotsam and jetsam floating above the real story of monumental wealth redistribution and class warfare” (Cooper, p 22). What does this constant forgetting of the familiality and sociality of political economy reveal about our affinities? What may it mean to center the family in research on political economy and world systems? How does centering the family shape the extent to which our analyses pay attention to capitalism, white supremacy, and patriarchy?
Marion Dixon, Point Park University; mdixon@pointpark.edu

Call for Papers: World-Ecology, Bonn, July 28-30

Working Environments, Unruly Natures

No Politics of Work without Nature, No Politics of Nature without Work!


Sixth Annual Conference of the World-Ecology Research Network, Bonn, July 28-30, 2020


In the unfolding climate crisis, two questions loom large in the search for planetary justice: What is a radical politics of work in an era of climate crisis? What is a radical politics of nature in an era of disposable workers and precarious work?


Through Working Environments, Unruly Natures, the 2020 meeting of the World-Ecology Research Network speaks to the work/life nexus of planetary justice. Highlighted by recent calls for a Green New Deal and Degrowth, we will explore the intimately connected – and profoundly global – dimensions of work, workers, and life across the long history of the capitalist world-ecology. Recognizing the dialectic of productive and reproductive work as the pivot of modern environment-making and class formation, we invite paper and session proposals that unpack the connective relations between work, working bodies, and working environments – past, present, and future. We especially welcome proposals that situate capitalism’s mobilization of paid and unpaid work in their racialized, gendered, colonial, and multi-species moments. This includes the deep history of labor politics, working class protest, and social revolution in their connections with world-ecological crises and capitalist restructuring. Identifying the strategic relations between neoliberal dispossession, proliferating climate disasters, and widening indequality, Working Environments, Unruly Natures pursues new syntheses, narratives, and conceptualizations of twenty-first century crisis that can inform the emergent politics of planetary justice.


We welcome paper and session proposals that engage a broadly-conceived world-ecology conversation on the conference theme. We will also consider papers that explore other dimensions of the capitalist world-ecology in which work, work/energy, and labor are not central analytics.


Key themes might include, but are not limited to:


  • Crises of care and social reproduction
  • Borders, migration, and climate change
  • Racialized labor and capitalist agriculture
  • Labor unrest and the rise of China
  • Planetary urbanization and remaking of work environments
  • Work, workers, and the biotariat
  • Surplus humanity and ‚disposable workers‘
  • Ecologies of platform capitalism and digital work
  • Working the global farm: food justice, food sovereignty, and the climate crisis
  • Production and reproduction in the environment-making state
  • Green New Deals and labor politics
  • Climates of dispossession: climate apartheid, climate patriarchy, and the climate class divide
  • The factory and home as environmental history
  • Ecological imperialism and making of global farm and factory
  • Cli-fi and the climate-capital imaginary
  • Sustainability and the problem of work
  • Environment-making geocultures, from above and below
  • Environmental histories of reserve armies of labor
  • Working bodies, health, and the contradictions of capitalism
  • Reproductive justice, worker justice, planetary justice


The World-Ecology Research Network is a global conversation of academics, activists, and artists committed to understanding human relations of power, production, and environment-making in the web of life. An evolving conversation rather than a theory, the world-ecology approach is unified by a critique of Nature-Society dualisms, a world-historical interpretation of today‘s planetary crisis, and an emphasis on the porous and constituting relations of race, class, and gender in capitalism‘s environmental history.


We are happy to work with artists and activists to develop creative ways to present their work in ways that may differ from conventional academic presentations. As always, some of our keynote speakers will be drawn from accepted abstracts.


If you have any questions, please email worldecologyconferences@gmail.com.

You can visit the WERN website https://worldecologynetwork.wordpress.com/about/,

or our conference website https://worldecologyconferencesblog.wordpress.com/.

Please join us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/worldecology/,

and follow us on Academia.edu https://www.academia.edu/Documents/in/World-Ecology,


Important Dates

Abstracts Due             November 30              Submission form here.

Registration                 March 1-April 30

Program available        June 30

Conference                  July 28-30


World-Ecology Conferences


Bonn Organizing Committee:

Michael Kleinod

Oliver Pye

WERN Conference Organizing Committee:

Diana C. Gildea dianacgildea@gmail.com

Jason W. Moore, jasonwsmoore@gmail.com

Upcoming workshops & conferences:

2020 February Workshop, Binghamton, USA

2020 July Conference, Bonn, Germany

2021 June Workshop, Jakarta, Indonesia

2021 Summer Conference, Binghamton, USA

2022 Conference, Europe

World Ecology Research Network

(CFP) Planetary Utopias, Capitalist Dystopias: Justice, Nature & the Liberation of Life (San Francisco, 30-31 May 2019)

San Francisco, May 30-31, June 1, 2019, California Institute of Integral Studies

Sponsored by the Department of Anthropology and Social Change, CIIS

Fifth Annual Conference of the World-Ecology Research Network

The most dystopian story brings out capitalism’s darkest and most oppressive features. And the most utopian stories bring out modernity’s most hopeful and emancipatory features of modernity. Utopias/dystopias are at once predictive retrodictive. These forms of story-telling and world-making are increasingly necessary in the twenty-first century. The unfolding climate crisis signals a tipping point not only for the biosphere, but also for established modes of power, thought, accumulation, and domination. Utopian imaginaries help us identify the intimate connections between power, in/justice, and the web of life in the modern world – and to unfold a politics of liberation that extends to all life. Planetary Utopias, Capitalist Dystopias explores the tension between the historical limits of the possible and the “impossible” projects of planetary justice.

The World-Ecology Research Network is a global community of scholars, artists, and activists. We welcome all forms of emancipatory interpretation, theory, and analysis committed to planetary justice for planetary life. Recognizing that no tradition or discipline holds all the answers, the Network cultivates a diversity of perspectives on humans in the web of life – past, present, and future. For us, the web of life is not a factor or variable, but a fundamental moment of all human activity, from birth to death, from the everyday to the rise and fall of civilizations. Common to these perspectives is a critique of Nature/Society dualism as a cosmology and world-historical practice of domination. A conversation and praxis rather than a perspective, world-ecology welcomes all who embrace the challenging of forging new modes of knowledge in an era of climate crisis.

The World-Ecology Research Network invites proposals on the widest range of topics addressing utopias and dystopias – as well as those related to central themes in the world-ecology conversation. We also welcome proposals for thematic sessions. We are happy to work with artists and activists to develop creative ways to present their work in ways that may differ from conventional academic presentations.

We are excited to announce that Kim Stanley Robinson will be one of our invited plenary speakers, along with Jason W. Moore. Please follow our blog to be the first to get updates.

Possible Topics Include:

  • Ecologies of Hope
  • Democratic Modernity and Capitalist Modernity
  • Reparation Ecologies
  • Hydropolitics, Hydro-Crises, & the End of Cheap Water
  • World-Ecology and Social Ecology: Dialogues
  • From the “Urbanization of the Countryside” to Planetary Urbanization
  • Planetary Daydreaming: Utopian Spaces, Dystopian Spaces
  • Women and Work in the Making of Planetary Crisis
  • The New Global Arc of Fire: California to the Arctic
  • Social Reproduction, Unpaid Work
  • Racial Capitalocenes
  • Feminist Utopias
  • State-Making and State-Breaking in the Capitalist World-Ecology
  • Organizing Utopia after the “End of History”
  • Capitalist Dystopias: Ecocides and Genocides in the Necrocene
  • Social Reproduction after the Great Recession: Evictions and the Right to Stay
  • Anthropocene/Capitalocene/Cthulucene
  • Cultural Materialism and the Utopian Imaginary State Socialisms and Productivist Natures
  • Utopias: Social, Ecological, or World-Ecological

Important Dates:

February 20 Abstract Submissions Due

Submission form: https://goo.gl/forms/F8PplUr9KurGVcLD3

March 20 Registration Opens




SF Organizing Committee: 
Andrej Grubacic
Chantal Yazbek
Michelle Glowa

WERN Conference Organizing Committee: 

Diana C. Gildea
Jason W. Moore

Upcoming conferences: 

2019 San Francisco, USA
2020 Europe
2021 USA
2022 Jakarta, Indonesia
World Ecology Research Network

Routledge Publication — Just Out!: The Financialization of Agri-Food Systems

Image result for financialization of agri-food systems

Financialization is the increased influence of financial actors and logics on social and economic life, and is one of the key drivers transforming food systems and rural economies around the world. The premise of this book is that the actions of financial actors, and their financial logics, are transforming agri-food systems in profound ways. It is shown that although financialization is a powerful dynamic, some recent developments suggest that the rollout of financialization is contradictory and uneven in different spaces and markets. The book examines cases in which state regulation or re-regulation and social movement resistance are setting roadblocks or speed bumps in the path of financialization, resulting in a ‘cooling off’ of investment, as well as the other side of the argument where there is evidence of a ‘heating up’. The authors address not only the limits to financialization, but also the mechanisms through which financial entities are able to penetrate and re-shape agri-food industries.

This book provides both a comparative analysis of financialization blending, and empirical findings with conceptual insights. It explores the connection between financialization, food systems, and rural transformation by critically examining: the concept of financialization and how food and farming are being financialized; the impacts of financialization in the food industry; and financialization in farming and forestry – along with the impacts this has on rural people and communities. This is a timely book, bringing together concrete case studies, from around the globe, to reveal the operations and impacts of finance capital in the ‘space’ of agri-food.

New Issue (Winter 2018) Journal of World Systems Research

Announcing New Issue of Journal of World-Systems Research

The Journal of World-Systems Research is available free online at jwsr.pitt.edu It is the official journal of the American Sociological Association’s section on Political Economy of the World-System and one of the most established scholarly, peer-reviewed, open access journals.

 Journal of World-Systems Research

Volume 24 Number 1

Winter 2018


Table of Contents

Editors’ Introduction

Peter Wilkin “The Rise of ‘Illiberal’ Democracy: The ‘Orbánization’ of Hungarian Political Culture

Dennis Davis, Raphael Kaplinsky, Mike Morris “Rents, Power and Governance in Global Value Chains

Timothy M. Gill, “From Promoting Political Polyarchy to Defeating Participatory Democracy: U.S. Foreign Policy towards the Far Left in Latin America

Beth Williford “Buen Vivir as Policy: Challenging Neoliberalism or Consolidating State Power in Ecuador

Diego Hurtado and Pablo Souza, “Geoeconomic Uses of Global Warming: The “Green” Technological Revolution and the Role of the Semi-Periphery

Ion Matei Costinescu “Interwar Romania and the Greening of the Iron Cage: The Biopolitics of Dimitrie Gusti, Virgil Madgearu, Mihail Manoilescu, and Ştefan Zeletin


*NEW* Section on World-Historical Information

Conference Report—”Creating Historical Knowledge Socially: New Approaches, Opportunities, and Epistemological Implications of Undertaking Research with Citizen ScholarsPatrick Manning

Dataset Review—Seshat: Global History Databank, Ahmet Izmirlioglu

Dataset Review—Zooniverse, the online repository for Citizen Science, Patrick Manning

Book Review Symposium: Cities in the World-System

Global Cities: Urban Environments in Los Angeles, Hong Kong, and China by Robert Gottlieb and Simon Ng, reviewed by Peter Taylor

From World City to the World in One City: Liverpool through Malay Lives by Tim Bunnell, reviewed by Paul Jones

The City: London and the Global Power of Finance by Tony Norfield, reviewed by Manuel Aalbers

Building the Urban Environment: Visions of the Organic City in the United States, Europe, and Latin America by Harold L. Platt, reviewed by Ernesto Lopez

Global Urban Justice : the Rise of Human Rights Cities edited by Barbara Oomen, Martha F. Davis, and Michele Grigolo, reviewed by Tom Reifer

Planetary Gentrification by Loretta Lees, Hyun Bang Shin, Ernesto López-Morales, reviewed by Christof Parnreiter

Cool Cities: Urban Sovereignty and the Fix for Global Warming by Benjamin Barber, reviewed by Daniel Cohen

World City Network: A Global Analysis, 2nd edition by Peter Taylor and Ben Derudder, reviewed by Michael Timberlake

Cities of the Global South Reader edited by Faranak Miraftab and Neema Kudva, reviewed by Liza Weinstein

Global Cities, Local Streets: Everyday Diversity from New York to Shanghai by Sharon Zukin, Philip Kasinitz, Xiangming Chen, reviewed by  Non Arkaraprasertkul

Book Reviews

India, Modernity and the Great Divergence: Mysore and Gujarat (17th to 19th C.), by Kaveh Yazdani, reviewed by Kristin Plys

When Good Jobs Go Bad: Globalization, De-unionization, and Declining Job Quality in the North American Auto Industry, by Jeffrey Rotshetin, reviewed by Ian Robinson

The Global Political Economy of Raúl Prebisch by Matias Margulis, reviewed by Sabine Dreher

Les mondes de l’océan Indien, by Philippe Beaujard, reviewed by Gene Anderson

CFP: Extractivisms, Social Movements & Ontological Formations (Helsinki, August 2018)


Extractivisms, Social Movements and Ontological Formations
AUGUST 15 -18, 2018

Over the past two decades, large-scale resource extraction has returned to center stage in the political economy of capitalism – and in the resistance to it. Called “extractivism” by scholars and activists, resource extraction in the 21st century has assumed new prominence in an era of unusually high commodity prices and the widespread questioning of fossil fuel infrastructures. Far from limited to resource and energy question, recent extractivisms have linked up with manifold forms of land grabbing and cash-crop agriculture to create new agrarian questions of survival and justice in an era of runaway climate change. Crucially, many Indigenous Peoples, peasants, workers, and other groups have confronted the extractivist projects. Many of them have not only opposed place-specific projects but questioned the Nature/Society dualisms that have framed and legitimated the racialized, gendered, and colonial domination that has been fundamental to capitalism’s environmental histories. We are witnessing a new wave of challenges to capitalism as an ontological formation – a new ontological politics that confronts capitalism as a world-ecology of power, re/production, and nature.
Extractivisms, Social Movements and Ontological Formations is the fourth annual conference of the World-Ecology Research Network. We invite papers on the widest range of topics addressing the new extractivism, its political economy and political ecology, and movements against extractivist projects. We also welcome proposals for thematic sessions. Proposals from artists and activists are encouraged. Papers off-topic but relevant to the world-ecology conversation are also welcome.

Possible topics include:
– Indigenous movements and extractivist projects.
– Social reproduction and extractivism.
– The financialization of commodities
– Land grabbing
– Representations of extractivism, class, and capital
– Extractivism in the Global North
– Environmental histories of resource and energy extraction
– Imperialism and the Search for Cheap Natures
– Labor movements and the labor process in extractive sectors
– The feminist political economy and political ecology of extraction
– Extractivism and climate change.
– Race, racism, and racial formation in extractivist projects and processes.
– Commodity frontiers
– Global extractive industries and their politics

Please use this link found at: http://www.helsinki.fi/en/conferences/world-ecology-2018 to submit an abstract for an oral presentation, a panel session, a workshop session or a poster presentation.

Important Dates:
October 25, 2017 Call for Papers opens
February 1, 2018 Abstract submission deadline
June 1, 2018 Poster abstract submission deadline
August 15 – 18, 4th Annual Conference of the World-Ecology Research Network, Helsinki, Finland