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Food security and social cohesion from antiquity to the present and future


Berlin University Alliance im Rahmen des Pre-Calls 2019 im Themenfeld Social Cohesion

The proposed project will investigate the development of agricultural systems from the past till the present. We are interested in: how did people(s) deal with food uncertainty in ancient times? What role did social cohesion play in food production and in times of food insecurity? How does the society with its individual preferences, rules of thought and informal institutional arrangements shape todays agricultural systems? What role does social cohesion play regarding the principles and to the realization of future food production? How will new technologies and the further development of established production methods ensure food security for the world population while meeting at the same time sustainability criteria? And how will society shape this development? In order to answer these questions, we propose a collaborative inter- and transdisciplinary project bringing together humanities and natural sciences with the aim of producing indicators of strategies and responses to food insecurity at the economic and social level. Bridging the gap between humanities and natural sciences encourages a holistic understanding, how food systems and food security interact with society and social mechanisms of cohesion and resilience. Focusing on phenomena that are reflected in current, sustainable agricultural research,we will develop an archaeologically and historically informed discussion on future agrosystems and food security in relation to social resilience and cohesion, by using key studies on past responses to urbanization, population growth, plagues, political  change/transitions.