Date of Award


Document Type



Political Science

First Advisor

Jack Corbett


Food sovereignty, Food security, Agriculture and politics




Globally, agriculture is both threatened by and contributing to the converging, interlinked problems of hunger, malnutrition, climate change, resource competition, and the degradation of natural resources critical to food production, including the health and resilience of agroecosystems. Sustainable solutions to hunger will maximize the multifunctional potential of agriculture to address a multi-faceted crisis. Realizing this potential depends on the resolution of a political struggle over contrasting food system models, rooted in contrary visions of what it means to resolve hunger. This paper analyzes the logics and claims embedded in the "food frames" employed by the World Bank and peasant organization Vía Campesina to define their respective visions of food security and the food system best suited to achieve it. This analysis reveals that these frames express dramatically different conceptions of the causes of hunger, the roles of corporations and peasant producers, and the social functions of agriculture. I argue that these conceptual foundations are directly related both to the food system models the organizations propose, and to the relative ability of each model to address the related problems of hunger, the empowerment of food producers, and environmental crisis. These foundations also express themselves in different futures for the social role of agriculture, and the lives of its participants: choosing a path for resolving hunger is a political act.


An undergraduate honors thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in University Honors and International Development

Persistent Identifier