Agroecology now!

Blesh, J., and H. Wittman (2015) "“Brasilience:” assessing resilience in land reform settlements in the Brazilian Cerrado." Human ecology 43(4): 531-546.

This study assessed the socioecological resilience
of family farms in three land reform settlements in
Mato Grosso, Brazil, located in the ecologically threatened
Cerrado biome. Using focus groups, a household
survey, and analysis of soil samples we characterized
farming systems and quantified indicators of resilience,
which we contextualized with a qualitative analysis of
distributions of power and access to rights and resources.
In Mato Grosso, where diversified agriculture
is a marginal presence in an industrialized agricultural

Wittman, H. Chappell, M.J. Abson, D.J., Bezner Kerr, R., Blesh, J. Hanspach, J. Perfecto, I.2017. A social–ecological perspective on harmonizing food security and biodiversity conservation." Regional Environmental Change 17.5: 1291-1301.

The major challenges of improving food security
and biodiversity conservation are intricately linked. To
date, the intersection of food security and biodiversity
conservation has been viewed primarily through an agricultural
‘‘production lens’’—for example, via the land
sparing/sharing framework, or the concept of sustainable
intensification. However, a productionist perspective has
been criticized for being too narrow, and failing to consider
other relevant factors, including policy, equity, and diversity.

Guerra, J. Blesh, J. Filho, A. and Wittman, H. 2017. Pathways to agroecological management through mediated markets in Santa Catarina, Brazil. Elem Sci Anth, 5: 67

Agroecology, as a social movement and scientific discipline, applies ecological principles to the design and management of agricultural systems to improve environmental outcomes and livelihoods for farmers and rural communities. However, little research to date has assessed the policy mechanisms that could facilitate increased adoption of agroecological management practices. We investigated if and how public food procurement programs that provide financial incentives for organic and agroecological production can mitigate key constraints to agroecological transition.

Tarlau, R. 2013. Coproducing Rural Public Schools in Brazil : Contestation, Clientelism, and the Landless Workers' Movement. Politics & Society 41(3) 395 –424

The Landless Workers’ Movement (MST) has been the principal protagonist
developing an alternative educational proposal for rural public schools in Brazil.
This article analyzes the MST’s differential success implementing this proposal
in municipal and state public schools. The process is both participatory—activists
working with government officials to implement MST goals—and contentious—the
movement mobilizing support for its education initiatives through various forms of