PhD candidate Ian Bailey is currently in Northern California, researching the practice and politics of re-agrarianization in the region. Teaming with the Living Lands Agrarian Network, a non-profit organization that cooperatively trains and mentors first generation farmers and operates a land bank, he is studying the meanings and possibilities of small-scale agrarian livelihoods at this historical moment. This research stems from a long standing interest in international agrarian and food movements. It also emerges from an interest in understanding the historical conditions and possibilities for embedding agriculture in socially just and ecological sustainable relations, especially via land reclamation. California is an ideal location, as it provides a sharp relief between industrial agriculture and a vibrant network of small scale agrarian projects.
Ian previously worked with the Community Agroecology Network in Santa Cruz, California, an innovative research, education, and alternative trade organization and dynamic member of the fair trade movement. There he worked with colleagues and farmers’ cooperatives in Central America on supporting sustainable coffee production and livelihoods through alternative trade networks. Ian has also worked at the Institute for Food and Development Policy—Food First—as a policy analyst and researcher. Ian’s Master’s research focused on the struggles over agriculture in development discourse and practice, focusing on the emergence of food sovereignty as a substantive alternative to dominant development models and as political rallying point for diverse agrarian communities. Ian’s research also spans the food crisis, biofuels, the contemporary agrarian question, the ‘new’ Green Revolution in Africa, and urban food justice movements. He has published on the coffee crisis and the fair trade movement.