The Politics of Food Supply: U.S. Agricultural Policy in the World Economy

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Overview

This book explores the forces that have shaped agricultural policies in the United States during the past eighty years. A new preface for this edition explores how the history of U.S. agricultural policy helps to explain the world food crisis of 2007-2008, which saw historic high food prices lead to increased world hunger, food riots, and political instability across the globe.

Winner of the 2011 Political Economy of the World-System Section of the American Sociological Association Book Award

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Editorial Reviews

American Journal of Sociology
Winders’s book has several strong points or innovations in agricultural policy analysis. First, the commodity-based approach is an insightful and interesting unifying framework that nicely ties together political, technological, and economic elements. Winders does well to remind current readers how farm commodities—and associated political power—were regionally intense. Another strength is the linking of the corn-wheat-cotton commodity framework to the global economy. Fully comprehending this framework requires understanding a U.S. food regime built on export subsidies and food aid. A third strength is Winders’s in-depth analysis of congressional votes and hearings, which ultimately demonstrates that within-segment politics are at least as important as general party politics.—Edward C. Jaenicke, American Journal of Sociology

— Edward C. Jaenicke

ASEAN Economic Bulletin
Bill Winders in The Politics of Food Supply: U.S. Agricultural Policy in the World Economy provides an engaging and incisive account of the history and political economy of farm policy in the United States.—Sandeep Vaheesan

— Sandeep Vaheesan

Contemporary Sociology
The Politics of Food Supply provides a thorough and detailed examination of the economic and political forces that have shaped U.S. agricultural policy for much of the twentieth century. Moreover, Winders’ focus on how changes within agriculture itself have acted to shape policy offers an important alternative to most analyses, thus providing a necessary contribution toward understanding both historical and contemporary agricultural policy. More generally, this book will prove valuable for social scientists and historians interested in topics of food and agriculture, political sociology, and public policy.—Carmen Bain, Contemporary Sociology

— Carmen Bain

Agriculture and Human Values
In The Politics of Food Supply Winders makes a significant contribution to the sociology of agrifood studies. Established academics and graduate students in the areas of historical sociology and the sociology of the agrifood system will find this book an engaging read as well as a valuable example of critical agrifood research.—Douglas H. Constance, Agriculture and Human Values

— Douglas H. Constance

American Sociological Association
Winner of the 2011 Political Economy of the World-System (PEWS) Section of the American Sociological Association Book Award
— Distinguished Book Award
American Journal of Sociology - Edward C. Jaenicke

“Winders’s book has several strong points or innovations in agricultural policy analysis. First, the commodity-based approach is an insightful and interesting unifying framework that nicely ties together political, technological, and economic elements. Winders does well to remind current readers how farm commodities—and associated political power—were regionally intense. Another strength is the linking of the corn-wheat-cotton commodity framework to the global economy. Fully comprehending this framework requires understanding a U.S. food regime built on export subsidies and food aid. A third strength is Winders’s in-depth analysis of congressional votes and hearings, which ultimately demonstrates that within-segment politics are at least as important as general party politics.”—Edward C. Jaenicke, American Journal of Sociology
Philip McMichael

"Breaking new ground, Winders' original class analysis of US agricultural politics differentiates commodity programs as vectors of privilege and change in farm policy and markets at home and abroad."—Philip McMichael, Cornell University
Jill Quadagno

"The Politics of Food Supply traces the fate of New Deal agricultural policies that were the mainstay of federal policy until the 1990s. In a fascinating historical account, Bill Winders explains why a nation wedded to a free market ideology has provided price supports for each of the major crops—corn, cotton and wheat—in its agricultural policy. A pathbreaking contribution to political sociology and comparative historical sociology."—Jill Quadagno, author of One Nation, Uninsured: Why the US Has No National Health Insurance

ASEAN Economic Bulletin - Sandeep Vaheesan

"Bill Winders in The Politics of Food Supply: U.S. Agricultural Policy in the World Economy provides an engaging and incisive account of the history and political economy of farm policy in the United States."--Sandeep Vaheesan
Contemporary Sociology - Carmen Bain

“The Politics of Food Supply provides a thorough and detailed examination of the economic and political forces that have shaped U.S. agricultural policy for much of the twentieth century. Moreover, Winders’ focus on how changes within agriculture itself have acted to shape policy offers an important alternative to most analyses, thus providing a necessary contribution toward understanding both historical and contemporary agricultural policy. More generally, this book will prove valuable for social scientists and historians interested in topics of food and agriculture, political sociology, and public policy.”—Carmen Bain, Contemporary Sociology
Agriculture and Human Values - Douglas H. Constance

“In The Politics of Food Supply Winders makes a significant contribution to the sociology of agrifood studies. Established academics and graduate students in the areas of historical sociology and the sociology of the agrifood system will find this book an engaging read as well as a valuable example of critical agrifood research.”—Douglas H. Constance, Agriculture and Human Values
American Sociological Association - Distinguished Book Award
Winner of the 2011 Political Economy of the World-System (PEWS) Section of the American Sociological Association Book Award
Environmental History - Alice Weinreb

"A clear, detailed, and intelligent guide to the history of US agricultural policy" Alice Weinreb, Environmental History.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300181869
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 2/29/2012
  • Series: Yale Agrarian Studies Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 302
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Bill Winders is associate professor of sociology, the School of History, Technology, and Society, Georgia Institute of Technology. He lives in Atlanta.

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Table of Contents

Foreword James C. Scott ix

Preface to the Paperback Edition xiii

Preface xvii

Acknowledgments xxiii

List of Abbreviations xxvii

Chapter 1 Introduction: Agriculture between State and Market 1

Part I Creating State Intervention

Chapter 2 The Early Battles Lost: Reaching for Regulation, 1920-1932 31

Chapter 3 Winning Supply Management: A New Deal for Agriculture, 1933-1945 51

Part II The Politics of Retrenchment

Chapter 4 Shifting Agricultural Coalitions: Sliding Back toward the Free Market, 1945-1975 77

Chapter 5 The Decline of the South: Changing Power within U.S. Agriculture, 1945-1975 105

Chapter 6 Agriculture and the Changing World Economy: The U.S. Food Regime, 1945-1990 129

Chapter 7 The 1996 FAIR Act: Changing U.S. Agricultural Policy 159

Epilogue: After FAIR: A New Departure? 194

Appendix: Notes on Methods and Data 207

Notes 213

Bibliography 249

Index 265

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