University of Calgary

Ben McKay

  • Assistant Professor

Research Interests

My research interests include the politics of agrarian change in Latin America, food sovereignty alternatives, the extractive character of capitalist agricultural development, the global food system, flex crops, and the rise of emerging economies and their implications for global agrarian transformation. I have carried out research and maintain research interests in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela. I am a Fellow at the University of Calgary’s Latin American Research Centre and a Research Associate and part of the Global Secretariat of the BRICS Initiative for Critical Agrarian Studies (BICAS).

 

Supervision


Currently accepting applications from students interested in pursuing graduate studies in critical development studies (MA and PhD). Interested candidates should contact me for more details. Funding is available on a competitive basis.

 

Publications


Peer Reviewed Journal Articles

 

Goetz, A., T. Searchinger, T. Beringer, L. German, B. McKay, G. de L.T. Oliveira and C. Hunsberger. (2018) Reply to commentary on the special issue Scaling up biofuels? A critical look at expectations, performance and governance’, Energy Policy, Early View, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enpol.2018.03.046

 

McKay, B.M. (2018) ‘The politics of convergence in Bolivia: social movements and the Movimiento al Socialismo, Third World Quarterly, Early View http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01436597.2017.1399056

 

McKay, B.M. (2018) ‘Colombia’s Agrarian Dynamics: Rights, Reform and Restitution’, Canadian Journal of Development Studies/Revue canadienne d’études du développement, Early View http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02255189.2017.1364621

 

McKay, B.M. (2018) ‘The politics of agrarian change in Bolivia’s soy complex’, Journal of Agrarian Change, 18(2):406-424. https://doi.org/10.1111/joac.12240

 

McKay, B.M. (2018). ‘Control grabbing and value-chain agriculture: BRICS, MICs and Bolivia’s soy complex’, Globalizations, 15(1):74-91. https://doi.org/10.1080/14747731.2017.1374563

 

McKay, B.M. (2017) ‘Agrarian extractivism in Bolivia’, World Development, 91, 199-211. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.worlddev.2017.04.007 

 

Oliveira, G. de L.T., B. McKay, and C. Plank. (2017) ‘How biofuels policies backfire: Misguided goals, inefficient mechanisms, and political-ecological blind spots’, Energy Policy, 108, 765-775. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.enpol.2017.03.036 

 

McKay, B.M., R. Hall and J. Liu (2016). ‘Introduction: The rise of BRICS and its implications for global agrarian transformation’, Third World Thematics: A TWQ Journal, 1(5):581-591.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/23802014.2016.1362323

 

McKay, B.M., A. Alonso-Fradejas, Z. Brent, S. Sauer, Y. Xu. (2016). ‘China in Latin America: towards a new ‘consensus’ of resource control?, Third World Thematics: A TWQ Journal, 1(5):592-611.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/23802014.2016.1344564

 

McKay, B. and G. Colque. (2016). ‘Bolivia’s Soy Complex: The Development of ‘Productive Exclusion’’, Journal of Peasant Studies, 43(2):583-610. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03066150.2015.1053875

 

McKay, B., S. Sauer, B. Richardson and R. Herre. (2016). ‘The political economy of sugarcane flexing: Initial insights from Brazil, Southern Africa and Cambodia’, Journal of Peasant Studies, 43(1):195-223.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03066150.2014.992016

 

McKay, B. and R. Nehring (2015) Situación de la soberanía alimentaria en América Latina: proyectos
políticos y vías alternativas en Venezuela, Ecuador y Bolivia, Cuestión Agraria, Vol. 2: 7-38.

 

McKay, B., R. Nehring, R. and M. Walsh-Dilley (2014). ‘The 'state' of food sovereignty in Latin America: political projects and alternative pathways in Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia’, Journal of Peasant Studies, 41(6):1175-1200.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03066150.2014.964217

 

Book Chapters

 

McKay, B.M., R. Hall and J. Liu (2018). ‘The rise of BRICS and its implications for global agrarian transformation’ in McKay, B.M, R. Hall and J. Liu (Eds.) Rural Transformations and Agro-Food Systems: The BRICS and Agrarian Change in the Global South (Ch.1). New York: Routledge.

 

McKay, B.M., A. Alonso-Fradejas, Z.W. Brent, S. Sauer and Y. Xu. (2018) ‘China and Latin America: towards a new consensus of resource control?’, in McKay, B.M, R. Hall and J. Liu (Eds.) Rural Transformations and Agro-Food Systems: The BRICS and Agrarian Change in the Global South (Ch.2). New York: Routledge.

 

McKay, B. and C. Colque. (2018) Bolivia’s soy complex: the development of ‘productive exclusion’’, in Oliveira, G. de L.T. and S.B Hecht (eds.) Soy, Globalization, and Environmental Politics in South America (Ch.14). New York: Routledge.

 

McKay, B., R. Nehring, and M. Walsh-Dilley. (2015) The ‘state’ of food sovereignty in Latin America: political projects and alternative pathways in Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia’, in Edelman, M., T. Weis, A. Baviskar, S.M. Borras Jr., E. Holt-Gimenez, D. Kandiyoti and W. Wolford (Eds.) Critical Perspectives on Food Sovereignty: Global Agrarian Transformations, Volume 2. New York: Routledge.

 

McKay, B., Alonso Fradejas, A., Wang, C. & Borras, S.M. (2014). Contested Land Politics and Trajectories of Agrarian Change within an Emergent World Agro-commodity Regime: Insights from the BRICS and the Periphery. In W.D. Schanbacher (Ed.), The Global Food System: Issues and Solutions (pp. 211-242). Santa Barbara, California: Praeger.

 

Reports, Working Papers and Policy Briefs

 

McKay, B, F.V. Rodríguez Muñoz, and D. Fajardo. (2016). ‘The Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security in Colombia: Towards democratic land-based resource control’, Commissioned Report for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO: Rome. Available in Spanish.

 

McKay, B. (2015) ‘BRICS and MICs in Bolivia’s ‘value’-chain agriculture’, Working Paper 6: BRICS Initiative for Critical Agrarian Studies (BICAS).

 

McKay, B., Sauer, S., Richardson, B. & Herre, R. (2014). The politics of sugarcane flexing in Brazil and beyond, Think Piece Series on Flex Crops & Commodities, no 4. Amsterdam: Transnational Institute.

 

McKay, B. and R. Nehring (2014) ‘Sustainable Agriculture: An assessment of Brazil’s family farm programmes in scaling up agroecological food production’, Working Paper #123, International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth, United Nations Development Programme, Brasilia, Brazil. Available in Spanish.

 

McKay, B. and R. Nehring (2013) ‘The 'State' of Food Sovereignty in Latin America: Political Projects and Alternative Pathways in Venezuela, Ecuador, and Bolivia’, Food Sovereignty: A Critical Dialogue, Yale University International Conference: New Haven, Connecticut.

 

Nehring, R. and B. McKay (2013) ‘Scaling up Local Development Initiatives: Brazil’s Food Acquisition Programme’, Working Paper #106, International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth, United Nations Development Programme, Brasilia, Brazil. Available in Spanish and Portuguese.

 

McKay, B. (2012) ‘A Socially Inclusive Pathway to Food Security: The Agroecological Alternative’, Policy Research Brief #23, International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth, United Nations Development Programme, Brasilia, Brazil.

 

Lal, R., R. Nehring and B. McKay (2012) “Public Policies for Inclusive and Sustainable Agriculture: an Emerging Agenda for South-South Cooperation?’ in IPC-IG Poverty in Focus #24,. International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth, United Nations Development Programme, Brasilia, Brazil.



Book cover          TNI Policy Brief     FTIERRA    

 The Global Food System         IPC IG Poverty in Focus           UNDP Policy Brief 

UNDP Working Paper    BICAS

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