Harriet Friedmann






  • LEST (UMR 7317)


Accueil LabexMed


A co-originator of the International Food Regimes approach to interpreting power, accumulation, and classes of producers and consumers in successive historical periods, she now focuses on the ecological foundations of food regimes and the role of social movements in transitions between regimes. Her self-defined title since retirement is Pollinator of an Emerging Mode of Human Foodgetting.


Chercheuse Invitée LabexMed au LEST en partenariat avec le CNE du 20 mars au 14 mai Professeur Émérite de Sociologie de University of Toronto et Membre Honoraire du Conseil de politique alimentaire de Toronto www.harrietfriedmann.ca
Projet de recherche au LEST dans le cadre de LabexMed

Harriet Friedmann is researching a book on Political Ecology of Food. She hopes to engage with researchers at AMU and CNRS on several themes: citizenship as a mode of labour regulation; land and territory in changing biocultural landscapes; and new practices of commons (“creative commons” as a social form of intellectual property) which might inform old territorial practices. Her ambition is to rethink the idea of a homogeneous global through tracing concrete pathways of people, goods, and money over long distances, which in successive periods structure the specific histories of places called “urban”, “rural” and “wild”; she finds two contradictory trajectories over the longue durée: homogenization via commodity frontiers, and diversification from below via diasporas that reshape biocultural landscapes.


Domaine(s) de recherche

  • After writing her doctoral thesis on the emergence of a world wheat market in the 19th century, Harriet Friedmann discovered that her work was at the intersection of world-systems, comparative history, and rural sociology. She added filières and petits producteurs marchandises soon after, including specific wheat, livestock, and “durable foods” complexes in the 20th century, and gender and generation relations in family farms. She now explores ecological dimensions of “foodgetting” in the longue durée. Her recent publications focus on conflicting international policies at the intersection of ecosystems and food systems; on reconciling social/political with ecological theories via a lens of food systems; and on emergent governance across social/natural scales. Since retiring in 2012, Harriet has been a visiting researcher at Institute of Social Studies (Erasmus University) in The Hague, CPDA Research Centre of the Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro, Carleton University in Ottawa, and CIRAD in Montpellier. She received the 2011 Lifetime Achievement award by the Canadian Association of Food Studies. Harriet was Chair of the Toronto Food Policy Council within the Municipal Department of Public Health in the 1990s, and is now an active “honorary councillor,” where she contributes memory of almost three decades of governance innovation. She was until recently a Director of USC-Canada, which supports small farmers in its Seeds of Survival projects in Canada and across the world. After retirement in 2012, Harriet created her own website and gave herself a new title.


Récentes ou Principales (liste sélective)

  • Metabolism of Global Cities: London, Manchester, Chicago, forthcoming in Terry Marsden, ed. Sage Handbook of Nature, Section on Urban Natures: Sustainable Communities (ed. Alison Blay-Palmer), in press.
  • Towards a Natural History of Foodgetting, 2017. Sociologia Ruralis 57: 2, pp. 245-64.
  • Paradox of Transition: Two Reports on How to Move Towards Sustainable Food Systems. 2017. Development and Change 48: 5, pp. 1210–1226. DOI: 10.1111/dech.12329
  • Interview (in English) on food regimes and Regulation Theory, with Gilles Allaires and Benoit Daviron, in Revue de la Régulation 20: 2 Autumn 2016. Régulations agricoles et formes de mobilisation sociale.
  • Governing land and landscapes: Political ecology of enclosures and commons. 2015, Canadian Food Studies, Vol 2, No 2, pp.23-31.