LUCSUS - Right Livelihood College
The Right Livelihood College (RLC) is a global initiative of the Right Livelihood Award Foundation, inaugurated in January 2009 at its global secretariat in Penang at the University Sains Malaysia.
The aim of the initiative is to harness the knowledge and experience of the Right Livelihood Award Laureates. To achieve that goal, the RLC seeks to establish a global network of organisations and institutions that gives the Laureates an arena for sharing their ideas, insights and experiences and spreading knowledge about their work and best practices to students and researchers at the partner organisations.
LUCSUS was appointed in 2009 to the European node of the Right Livelihood College. In addition to Universiti Sains Malaysia, where the global secretariat is located, the network is represented in Germany at Center for Development Research (ZEF), Bonn University and in Ethiopia at the Addis Ababa University.
LUCSUS main objective in the development of the RLC is to establish a global grant program (the Right Livelihood Fellowships) to support young, promising students at the Master and / or PhD level to conduct research in close proximity to a number of award winners projects and organizations. These fellowships will include exchanges of personnel, field work, documentation and analysis of laureates activities. The ultimate objective is to further develop, deepen and spread the ideas of the Right Livelihood laureates. Relevant research topics include such natural resource management, sustainable food production, climate change, biodiversity, environmental protection, peace and conflict issues, poverty reduction, human rights and social justice.
For more information please visit the websites
Right Livelihood College »
or contact Right Livelihood College-European Campus contact at LUCSUS:
Travel support 2011 for thesis students
Investigating the impacts of large-scale food retailers on smallholder producers in India
Marzena Puzniak and Paul Cegys
In connection to Vandana Shiva, laureate in 1993 and her organization Navdanya.
Read more about Vandana Shiva »
Large-scale retailers, who emerged recently in the food sector in India, are re-organizing procurement networks and substantially altering market conditions for smallholder producers. Several dynamics are particularly interesting in secondary sources and existing literature: the restrictions on FDI and large-scale retail developments in the food sector in India; the direct contracting of smallholder producers recently by large corporate retailers; the ongoing development of national and company safety and quality produce standards which are used to consolidate procurement chains; evidence of exclusion of smallholder producers in other contexts where large-scale retail systems emerged; and the strategy of enhancing smallholder producers’ capacity through cooperative arrangements.
Large-scale retail dynamics in the Indian context in general, and specifically their impact on smallholder producers, have been identified as a concerning research gap. In answer to this gap, our research question asks how local smallholder producers are affected by the emergence of a large-scale food retailer? Our research goal is to investigate, through a sustainable livelihood framework and qualitative methods, the impacts on capabilities and livelihoods of a target group of smallholder producers and/or how they are mitigated by cooperative arrangements. Our research motivation is to contribute to understanding how smallholder producers’ capabilities (through access, assets and opportunities) can be enhanced in their relations with large-scale retail systems.
Field report Janaury 2011
For a month we have been establishing our research in Delhi, India, with the help of the Right Livelihood College research grant from LUCSUS. We are seeking to investigate the impact that large scale retail in fresh produce, emerging rapidly and contentiously in India at present, may have on small agricultural producers. Since India’s agricultural production and the livelihood of the majority of its rural population depend on small scale production, and since a majority of production is performed by women, the question of market and asset access is a social question. The intention of the RLC grant is to support research connections with former Right Livelihood Award Laureates. We have established a connection with two Right Livelihood Laureates whose work, very relevant to our research interest, has also helped steer our question towards a pertinent governance and policy question. In Delhi, we have been meeting with Dr. Vandana Shiva and her organization Navdanya. Dr. Vandana Shiva has invited and encouraged us to spend a longer period of time in Dehradun to study the work that Navdanya pioneers with local farmers - and the model of organic production and retail which they advocate. First established in Ahmedabad by Ela Bhatt, SEWA (standing for the Self Employed Women’s Association) has been working for close to four decades to enhance woman’s capacity to access financial assistance, training, market outlets, land resources and self organization. We have been in correspondence with Ela Bhatt and have visited SEWA’s centre in Ahmedabad. Since its formation SEWA has branched out into independent sibling organizations located diversely throughout the country. Both sources have inspired us to pursue and question the role of cooperative arrangements, and the more recent phenomenon of producer companies, as a means of mitigating the impacts of large scale retail on small-scale producers and as a means of enabling access to new supply chains on more equal terms.
Social Movement Strategies for a Paradigmshift towards a Post-Growth Economy.
In connection to Herman Daly, laureate in 1996
Read more about Herman Daly »
The thesis is going to use Kolb's Partial Theory of Social Movements (2007, 19) to explore the strategies and outcomes of the German social movement on post-growth. The thesis's relevance is caused by two assumptions: First, the environmental movement in Germany suers from a decit of economic theory in order to become a sustainability movement. Its institutions lack knowledge in neoliberal economics as well as knowledge about alternative economies despite plenty of approaches are available, such as Solidarity Economics (Embsho and Giegold 2008) and Ecological Economics. Second, there is a decit in theorizing strategies of social movements in order to comprehend their political outcomes. Focusing on a social movement's strategies allow to strengthen their capacity for transformational change in terms of contributing to a post-growth society. The environmental movement is seen as major part of the post-growth movement landscape in Germany. Evaluating strategies acknowledges that there are many more strategies than the disruptive one, which is widely applied in the anti-globalization movement and hardly comes up with constructive approaches, but a general critique of capitalism. The idea of a post-growth economy is considered to be able to ll the gap of economic knowledge in the movement while making use of constructive strategies.
Based upon these two assumptions, the thesis's major research question is: What is the German environmental movement's role and potential to contibute to a paradigmshift towards a post-growth economy? The question will be supplemented by three minor research questions:
- Which strategies do the German and international post-growth movement apply?
- What are their political outcomes?
- What are the most challenging constraints for the environmental movement in order to contribute to a post-growth development?