Clapp, J. (2012). Food. Malden, MA: Polity Press.
In recent years, Jennifer Clapp, Chair of Global Environmental Governance at Waterloo’s Centre for International Governance Innovation, has established herself as a food analyst of international repute, her work on the dynamics of transnational corporation (TNC) participation in agrifood systems and food volatility being two recent highlights. That she would have been chosen to contribute this volume to Polity’s Resource series should therefore come as no surprise. The timeliness of this text goes without saying—the broad range of themes and contentions clustered under “food policy issues,” whilst perhaps not garnering the same degree of elite attention that they were just 3 or 4 years ago, continue to command specialist and public awareness alike. At the same time, however, the complexity of the issues and of the “system” within which they are contested, and the speed with which new issues emerge onto the radar, sets the bar of entry within this field of human endeavour quite high. Thus, as Clapp states in her introduction: “This book aims to contribute to a fuller understanding of some of the key forces that influence and shape the current global food system,” focusing in particular on “the interface between the international political and economic dimensions of the system—what I refer to as the ‘world food economy.’” (p. 5).
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