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Title: Civil networks as a force to challenge the dominant food system : the case of the network in defence of maize in Mexico
Author: Yanez Soria, K.
ISNI:       0000 0004 8498 339X
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2016
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The principal question of this research is: How do civil networks, composed by social movements, become a counterforce faced with the dominant food system beyond their more apparent ways of operation? This thesis refers to 'civil networks' based on the Network Society notion of Castells (2004) who argues that in a globalised world power is built and enforced in networks. Castells' insights are used as a starting point to unveil civil networks'underpinning logics. Additionally, other authors as Pellin's theory on networks' resistance to tackle climate change as well as Sitrin and Esteva's analysis of new social movements in Latin America are reviewed. The research looks into the case of the Network in Defence of Maize (NDM), a social movement contributing to preventing the spread of GMO contamination of criollo maize and GMO legal approval in Mexico. It is worth noting that in this context maize represents a sacred symbol linked to Mexican culture, uniting diverse organisations/individuals to defend their ways of living and territories. The thesis examines three sub-questions: What are the achievements and defeats of the NDM? How does the NDM succeed in their objectives? Why has the NDM developed potential to challenge the dominant food system? The food sovereignty framework is used as the analytical tool concerned with identifying the achievements of the NDM on challenging the dominant food system as well as improving peasants' living conditions. The second question argues that collective learning as process and outcome is at the core of civil networks' dynamics. Networks as organisational forms become merely the infrastructure to disseminate innovative knowledge into transformative actions on the ground. Finally, this thesis pinpoints the spirit and essence of civil networks as counterforce to networks of power based on the construction of collective identities among peasants-indigenous people and activist-researchers who make of the struggle their way of life in dignity.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available