New risks of food: the need for a humanistic biopolitics

New risks of food:
the need for a humanistic biopolitics

Kravchenko S.A.,

Dr. Sci. (Philos.), Professor, Department of Sociology, MGIMO University; Principal Researcher, Institute of Sociology of FCTAS RAS, Moscow, Russia ,

elibrary_id: 77019 | RESEARCHER_ID: H-5769-2016

DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2014.05.10

For citation:

Kravchenko S.A. New risks of food: the need for a humanistic biopolitics. – Polis. Political Studies. 2014. No. 5. P. 139-152. (In Russ.).


This paper discusses the new risks of food which, according to the author, have their roots in the liberal biopolitics based on the principles of scientism, formal rationalism, pragmatism, and mercantilism which originated in Europe in the XVIIth century. At the end of the last century there were significant changes in this policy relating to its nature – it became globo-networked and neo-liberal. These transformations are ambivalent. On the one hand, the innovations brought some results – the global agribusiness created great productive forces operating in the dominating industrial farms in the North and dependent natural production in the South, that for all the socio-economic costs of this interaction allows to achieve the food supply of the entire population of the planet. However, on the other hand, – due to its immanent basic value principles that have become implemented on a global scale such problems as social inequality and hunger were not solved. The situation is aggravated by the fact that the risks themselves are becoming more complex: in a traditional society were due primarily to natural disasters that led to shortages of food, today mankind has to deal with man-made risks, manifested in the deepening social differentiation with respect to the eco-friendly foods, access to national foods that are being displaced by the “normal” cosmopolitan food and genetically modified products. Moreover, new risks have affected the socio-natural sphere – the increasing food production continues to be accompanied by the colonization of natural resources, reduction in “environmentally friendly soil”, the gases continue polluting planet’s atmosphere emit that increases the greenhouse effect and thus risks of socio-natural turbulence. The author sees the ways to minimize these man-made risks not through the “treatment” of the current neoliberal biopolitics but in the transition to a humanistic biopolitics aiming at managing food production in the context of solidarity development of countries and civilizations.

biopolitics; global agribusiness; genetically modified products; openness; food risks; bioethics; humanistic biopolitics.

Content No. 5, 2014

See also:

Lebedeva M.M.,
Food as a Mirror of Global Political Development. – Polis. Political Studies. 2015. No2

Kravchenko S.A.,
COVID-19 Pandemic: Challenges to Global Health – is Humanist Globolocal Biopolitics Possible?. – Polis. Political Studies. 2020. No6

Kravchenko S.A., ,
Risks of Energy Security: the Need For Humanistic Geopolitics. – Polis. Political Studies. 2015. No5

Krasikov S.A.,
Political Risks of Detraditionalization. – Polis. Political Studies. 2008. No5

Sergeyev K.V.,
«What is impossible to speak about...» phenomenon of «unutterable demands» and social risks in modern society. – Polis. Political Studies. 2013. No4



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