Translating land justice through comparison: a US-French dialogue and research agenda

Agric Human Values. 2021 Mar 6;1-16. doi: 10.1007/s10460-021-10202-4. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

In this discussion piece, eight scholars in geography, urban planning, and agri-food studies from the United States (US) and France engage in a bi-national comparison to deepen our collective understanding of food and land justice. We specifically contextualize land justice as a critical component of food justice in both the US and France in three key areas: access to land for cultivation, urban agriculture, and non-agricultural forms of food provisioning. The US and France are interesting cases to compare, considering the differences and similarities in their colonial and agricultural histories, persistent and systemic race and class-based inequities in land access, and the roles of public bodies and social movements. In this paper, we synthesize literature, share reflections, and offer directions for future scholarship, including a broader comparative research agenda. An important difference we found is in the degree of scholarly attention to race and how it mediates access to land. We also observe that few scholars articulate a clear definition of justice in their work, nor do they share a common justice framework. We hope that this paper contributes to a more robust food and land justice framework for the use of scholars, practitioners and activists.

Keywords: Agriculture; Food justice; France; Land justice; United States; Urban agriculture.