Title page for ETD etd-06202007-134833

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Cooley, Christiana Clark
Author's Email Address ccooley@vt.edu
URN etd-06202007-134833
Title A Research Design for Assessing the Possibilities of Localized Food Production
Degree Master of Arts
Department Political Science
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Rich, Richard C. Committee Chair
Luke, Timothy W. Committee Member
Natter, Wolfgang George Committee Member
  • sustainable agriculture
  • local food system
  • local food production
Date of Defense 2007-06-20
Availability unrestricted
Local food production movements have claimed a central role in proposals to

mitigate some of the negative effects of economic globalization. Although not meant to

be a panacea for the ills of the neoliberal order, local food production is advocated as a

sustainable solution to a portion of the environmental degradation caused by global

capitalism, and as a mechanism by which to rebuild community networks undermined by

the globalization of commerce and culture and create the type of sustainable development

necessary to restore and preserve the carrying capacity of the planet. This study seeks to

develop a conceptual framework for assessing the potential for communities to create and

sustain local food production by addressing three major factors that influence a

community’s ability to localize its food system: the physical capacity of the region or

locality to produce enough food to feed its inhabitants, successful policy and trade

adjustments by governments to create and enable the survival of local food production

systems, and the willingness of consumers to participate in a localized food production

system, which includes the community’s willingness and ability to bear the costs of

instituting and maintaining the local system.

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