Political Economy and Food Sovereignty

The collapse of the economy in West Asia, with the subsequent lack of employment opportunities, the lack of proper infrastructure, adequate social services, and the rising price of goods in the region are rooted in global economic injustices. On the other hand it is the violence of the political regimes as well as specific laws and policies serving the political elite in the respective countries, that have caused the economic collapse.

With our program, we aim to break down the complex economic and political relations that have caused the economic collapse in our countries while also discussing just policies and alternative economies. A main area of relevance is supporting measures of food sovereignty, to promote social justice and a  fairer distribution of wealth and resources.

As food prices are rising globally, the politics of agriculture and food production and the question of who can afford food gains urgency in West Asia, impacting the most marginalized. At the same time, different civil society initiatives have started to organize around the issues of food production, access to native, fresh, and healthy food, as well as social and economic rights of farmers, and finally, the importance of connecting the urban with the  rural. Food Sovereignty as an alternative economy concept has become central in the struggle against agro-businesses that sell environmentally harmful GMO seeds as well as pesticides, proven dangerous to human health. Thus, food Sovereignty defends bio-diversity and aims to preserve farmer and heirloom seeds as a collective good rather than a commodity.

The political economy program therefore focuses on providing various tools of political education, policy analysis, workshops, seminars, and reading groups to increase our knowledge about the political economy in general and specifically about regional economic and financial systems. We encourage cross-national exchange and bring together activists, small-scale farmers, scholars and environmentalists who contribute to alternative and creative knowledge production from below.