A Critique of Localist Political Economy and Urban Agriculture

in Historical Materialism
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Abstract

In the Global North, Urban Agriculture (UA) is being considered as a way to overcome malnutrition and promote local, ethical production. UA can be understood through two phenomena integral to the capitalist mode of production: capital centralisation and rent. Centralisation explains why capitalist agriculture industrialises, while rent provides a theoretical framework for understanding how social and spatial relations structure urban land uses. Urban farming can occupy niches of the capitalist marketplace; however, its prospects for replacing large-scale agriculture and providing similar use-values are limited. Its expansion is bounded by rising land values expressed in rent, as Detroit’s urban farm, Markham’s food belt, Los Angeles’s community garden, and initiatives in other cities demonstrate. The key tasks for political ecologists are two-fold: situating UA within capital’s drive to accumulate and proposing strategic perspectives that challenge these inherent tendencies.

Historical Materialism

Research in Critical Marxist Theory

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References

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5.

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Kato 2012, p. 7.

51.

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Harvey 2006, p. 354.

61.

Marx 1981, p. 816.

62.

Harvey 2006, p. 355.

63.

Fine 1979, p. 251.

64.

Harvey 2006, p. 361.

65.

Marx 1971, p. 515.

66.

Mann 1990, p. 31.

67.

Murray 1977, pp. 118–19.

68.

Fine 1979, p. 248.

69.

Harvey 2006, p. 347.

70.

Fine 1979, p. 248.

71.

Harvey 2006, p. 355.

72.

Bryan 1990, p. 180.

73.

Marx 1981, p. 751.

74.

Harvey 2006, pp. 375, 391.

75.

Fine 1979, p. 269.

76.

Harvey 2006, pp. 349, 354, 370.

77.

Murray 1977, p. 120.

78.

SPIN Farming n.d., p. 2.

79.

Toronto Food Policy Council 1999, p. 20; Roberts 2008, p. 175.

80.

Key and Roberts 2007.

81.

Harvey 2006, pp. 377, 379.

82.

Gombu 2010a.

83.

Robb n.d., pp. 22, 23, 28.

84.

Reynolds 2010.

85.

Hseih 2010a.

86.

Hseih 2010a; Hseih 2010b.

87.

Robb n.d., p. 10.

88.

Gombu 2010b.

89.

Robb n.d., p. 24; yorkregion.com 2009.

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Harvey 2006, p. 368.

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Murray 1978, p. 28.

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O’Connor 1973, p. 206; Dupuis 2009, p. 3.

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Harvey 2006, p. 371.

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Garr 2009.

96.

Food and Hunger Action Committee 2003, p. 14.

97.

Friendly 2008, pp. 29, 7, 27.

98.

McKibben 2007, pp. 105, 128.

99.

Carlsson 2008, pp. 95, 100, 102.

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Roberts 2008, p. 20.

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Carlsson 2008, pp. 82, 83, 88, 87.

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Roberts 2008, pp. 53, 64.

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Food and Hunger Action Committee 2003, p. 34.

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Friendly 2008, pp. 27–48.

109.

Food and Hunger Action Committee 2003, p. 20.

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Toronto Food Policy Council 1996, p. 20.

111.

Kirkpatrick and Tarasuk 2009, p. 138.

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Bellows and Hamm 2001, p. 276.

113.

Kirkpatrick and Tarasuk 2009, p. 138.

115.

Friendly 2008, p. 24.

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Kirkpatrick and Tarasuk 2009, p. 135.

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Dachner 2008.

118.

Kato 2012, p. 8.

119.

Kingsolver 2007, p. 115.

120.

Smithers 2010.

121.

Goodman 2004, p. 8.

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Jowit 2008.

123.

Wood 2008.

124.

Soil Association 2012, p. 3. The report states that sales of organic produce continued to grow in overseas markets, quadrupling in China over five years, although no data is provided on the size of the initial market.

125.

Smithers 2009. This also does not address the false conflation of ‘local’ with ‘organic’ and ‘quality’; see Winter 2003, pp. 30–1.

126.

McKibben 2007, p. 107; Food and Hunger Action Committee 2001, p. 38.

127.

O’Connor 1973, pp. 169, 87.

128.

Toronto Food Policy Council 1999, pp. 15, 9, 17.

129.

Glaister 2009; Branigan 2009; Streit 2009.

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Friendly 2008, p. 38; Hughes 2005, p. 497.

131.

Carlsson 2008, p. 105.

133.

Whitford 2009.

134.

Hoffman 2006.

135.

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Hoffman 2006.

137.

Roberts 2008, pp. 139, 154.

139.

Edel 1977, p. 7.

140.

Carlsson 2008, pp. 84, 103.

141.

Katz 1986, p. 72.

142.

Engels 1970, Chapter 2.

143.

Katz 1986, pp. 75–6.

144.

Gough and Eisenschitz 1996, p. 183.

145.

Sharzer 2012, Chapter 5, discusses this question in more detail.

146.

Harvey 2011, p. 19.

147.

Harvey 2011, p. 120.

148.

Bernstein 2010, p. 304.

149.

Marx 1981, p. 216.

150.

Kovel 2007, p. 173.

151.

Wiskerke, Bock, Stuiver and Renting 2003.

152.

Giménez and Shattuck 2011, pp. 115–16.

153.

Heynen, Perkins and Roy 2006; Moore 2010, p. 392; Swyngedouw 2009.

154.

Bernstein 2010, pp. 301–3.

155.

Swyngedouw 2009, pp. 609, 612

156.

Winter 2003, p. 30.

157.

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158.

Roberts 2008, pp. 23, 48.

159.

Weis 2010, p. 335.

160.

Weis 2010, p. 337.

161.

Murray 1978, p. 29.

162.

Goodman 2004, p. 8.

163.

White 2008, p. 70.

164.

Despommier 2011, p. 236.

165.

White 2008, p. 71.

166.

Elton 2009.

167.

Vidal and Meikle 2010.

168.

Friendly 2008, pp. 31, 50.

169.

Swnygedouw 2009, pp. 616, 608.

170.

Kato 2012.

171.

Goodman 2003, p. 2.

172.

Freidberg and Goldstein 2011, p. 27.

173.

McKibben 2007, p. 73.

174.

Roberts 2008, pp. 89, 92.

175.

Gropas 2006, p. 265.

176.

Gropas 2006, p. 253.

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