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Duygu Avci


I am an independent researcher from Turkey. I completed my PhD in October 2018 in the Development Studies Program at the Institute of Social Studies. For both my MA and PhD theses, I conducted research on socio-environmental conflicts over mining in Turkey and Ecuador. Based on this research, I have published articles individually and jointly in Ecological Economics (2010), The Extractive Industries and Society (2016) and Geoforum (2017). My current research interests include vulnerability and adaptation to climate change in agriculture, food systems transformation, urban food policy, environmental justice and just transition.


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Political ecology of vulnerability and adaptation to climate change in agriculture in Turkey

This paper aims to analyze how the neoliberal transformation of agriculture in Turkey has produced differential vulnerabilities to climate change, and to what extent and how the responses of various actors to the challenges of climate change address the underlying causes of vulnerability. It argues that neoliberalization has increased class differentiation in rural areas and deepened the dependence of small farmers on the market relations over which they have little control and intensified the use of industrial farming practices that undermine the ecological integrity of agro-ecosystems. The paper then critically examines the efforts to tackle climate change impacts on agriculture by the government, private sector, municipalities and alternative food initiatives. It posits that the technological and managerial solutions commonly promoted by the government and the private sector are likely to increase the differentiation amongst farmers, providing some level of security to those farmers who are able to adopt such solutions and expand their market power, while exacerbating the vulnerability of those that are either not able to adopt them, or do so at the cost of increasing their dependence on the market. A number of municipalities and alternative food initiatives, albeit in different and sometimes contradictory ways, look to foster producer organizations, establish alterative exchange networks between producers and consumers, and support farmers in maintaining and/or switching to more sustainable production practices. As such, these efforts hold relatively more potential to address the root causes of vulnerability and build socio-ecological relations for a more just and sustainable agro-food system.

Affiliation: independent researcher