Food Security, Gender and Resilience

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Improving Smallholder and Subsistence Farming

book cover

Edited by Leigh Brownhill, Esther Njuguna, Kimberly L. Bothi, Bernard Pelletier, Lutta Muhammad and Gordon M. Hickey.

Through the integration of gender analysis into resilience thinking, this book shares field-based research insights from a collaborative, integrated project aimed at improving food security in subsistence and smallholder agricultural systems. The scope of the book is both local and multi-scalar. The gendered resilience framework, illustrated here with detailed case studies from semi-arid Kenya, is shown to be suitable for use in analysis in other geographic regions and across disciplines. The book examines the importance of gender equity to the strengthening of socio-ecological resilience. Case studies reflect multidisciplinary perspectives and focus on a range of issues, from microfinance to informal seed systems.

The book’s gender perspective also incorporates consideration of age or generational relations and cultural dimensions in order to embrace the complexity of existing socio-economic realities in rural farming communities. The issue of succession of farmland has become a general concern, both to farmers and to researchers focused on building resilient farming systems. Building resilience here is shown to involve strengthening households’ and communities’ overall livelihood capabilities in the face of ongoing climate change, global market volatility and political instability.

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Publisher: Routledge
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The Wages of Relief

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Cities and the Unemployed in Prairie Canada, 1929–39

by Eric Strikwerda

scaffolding in a building site

In the early part of the Dirty Thirties, the Canadian prairie city was a relatively safe haven. Having faced recession before the Great War and then again in the early 1920s, municipalities already had relief apparatuses in place to deal with poverty and unemployment. Until 1933, responsibility for the care of the urban poor remained with local governments, but when the farms failed that year, and the Depression deepened, western Canadian cities suffered tremendously. Recognizing the severity of the crisis, the national government intervened. Evolving federal programs and policies took over responsibility for the delivery of relief to the single unemployed, while the government simultaneously withdrew financing for all public works projects.

Setting municipal relief administrations of the 1930s within a wider literature on welfare and urban poor relief, Strikwerda highlights the legacy on which relief policymakers relied in determining policy directions, as well as the experiences of the individuals and families who depended on relief for their survival. Focusing on three prairie cities—Edmonton, Saskatoon, and Winnipeg—Strikwerda argues that municipal officials used their power to set policy to address what they perceived to be the most serious threats to the social order stemming from the economic crisis. By analyzing the differing ways in which local relief programs treated married and single men, he also explores important gendered dynamics at work in the response of city administrators to the social and economic upheaval of the Depression. Probing the mindset of local elites struggling in extraordinary circumstances, The Wages of Relief describes the enduring impact of the policy changes made in the 1930s in the direction of a broad, national approach to unemployment—an approach that ushered in Canada’s modern welfare system.

About the Author

Eric Strikwerda is an Associate Professor in History in the Centre for Humanities. View Eric's faculty page.


Religious Activism in the Global Economy

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Promoting, Reforming, or Resisting Neoliberal Globalization?

Book Cover: Religious Activism in the Global Economy

Edited by Sabine Dreher and Peter J. Smith

Protests of neoliberal globalization have proliferated in recent years, not least in response to the financial crisis, austerity and increasing inequality. But how do religious groups organize themselves in response to these issues?

This book systematically studies the relationship of religious activism towards neoliberal globalization. It considers how religious organizations often play a central role in the resistance against global capitalism, endeavouring to offer alternatives and developments for reform. But it also examines the other side of the coin, showing how many religious groups help to diffuse neoliberal values, promote and reinforce practices of capitalism. Drawing on a unique set of case studies from around the world, the chapters examine a range of groups and their practices in order to provide a thorough examination of the relationship between religion and the global political economy.

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Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
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