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The transformative power of commoning and alternative food networks

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Michael Barr



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


In this paper we demonstrate how a commoning framework offers a critical lens to fully appreciate the scope and impact of alternative food networks (AFNs). We draw on fieldwork from an AFN in southern China to show how commoning enacts changes in how members contextualise and anchor their social relations to one another with regards to sourcing food as a commons. A commoning framework gives a fuller picture of how the constitutive effects of AFNs reside not in their introduction of a new uniformity but in their navigation of the multiplicity of the social through its proposition and co-construction of a new ‘cognitive praxis’.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Zhang J, Barr M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Environmental Politics

Year: 2019

Volume: 28

Issue: 4

Pages: 771-789

Online publication date: 31/08/2018

Acceptance date: 14/08/2018

Date deposited: 21/08/2018

ISSN (print): 0964-4016

ISSN (electronic): 1743-8934

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/09644016.2018.1513210



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Funder referenceFunder name
Economic and Social Research Council