Call for Book Chapters: " Re-imagining Food Systems: Connecting Research with Citizen Politics"

Vernon Press invites book chapters for a forthcoming edited volume on the subject of “Re-imagining Food Systems: Connecting research with citizen politics.”


Research into new ways of doing food systems differently is not only academic; it is also a political project aimed at demonstrating new ways of sharing, thinking and doing that emerge from active engagement between and among diverse civic food experiments and contributors. This occurs across movements for food security, food justice, food sovereignty, agroecology, the right to food, and solidarity/care economy, all of which occupy an important place at the intersection of sociologies of food and sustainability.


This edited book brings together two important themes connecting the politics of food system transformation. First, we invite researchers and practitioners to share insights that can help make connections between personal and collective visions for future societies, sustainability and food system reform. In particular, we are interested to hear from studies that give citizen food politics a central space in creating new stories about food, and so progress understandings of how alternative practices for sustainable and just food futures might better inform policy or activism. What new stories for food futures are emerging, and by whom, and how might these be mobilised to challenge existing food power relations? Chapters will examine case studies of research and practice that address how citizen food politics are shaping the visions, discourses, policies and actions within emerging ‘alternative’ food networks around the world, at various scales from local to global.


Second, this book seeks to explore the methods that praxis-oriented researchers use to progress work at this nexus. While there has been much written about the importance of participation and co-design in emerging forms of alternative food governance, this is a new methodological space. We see research as necessitating social action, with a need to critically reflect on the transformative potential of emancipatory methodologies to engage with a wide scope of citizen politics and activism occurring in the ‘real world’.  How might researchers from diverse social science backgrounds play a more active role in supporting the goals of citizen-led food initiatives, through the kinds of research methodologies they employ? Where do the boundaries between research and citizen politics lie, and is it desirable – or possible – for those boundaries to shift?


This edited volume will bring forth scholars from different disciplines to discuss the opportunities and challenges facing researchers and activists who want to work more closely together to progress the transformation to more sustainable and just food systems.  This approach will bring a unique mixture of case studies from around the world into closer dialogue with scholar-activist methodological reflections. Possible contributions include (but are not limited to):

  • Theoretical and empirical investigations of citizen-led food system initiatives that make connections between the spheres of food, production, distribution and consumption, or with wider systemic interventions in education, healthcare, climate policy or human rights;
  • Theoretical and empirical studies that seek to analyse power and governance, using concepts of food democracy, participation, engagement, and agency (etc);
  • Strong interest in unpacking how transformation is occurring, applying ideas around innovation, social learning, futures and transitions;
  • An emphasis on telling new stories about food, narratives and storytelling as ‘work’, and co-creation methodologies that bring citizen political action into closer connection with participatory, policy-oriented or action research;
  • Papers that compare across scales (local, national, global) or across geographical regions are of particular interest.

Please submit an abstract no longer than 500 words with a brief bio note to volume editor, Kiah Smith at by February 15th, 2024

This proposal is due on February 15th 2024.

Page last updated on February 2nd 2024. All information correct at the time, but subject to change.