Nested vulnerability: exploring cross-scale linkages and vulnerability teleconnections in Mexican and Vietnamese coffee systems
Analyses of the vulnerability of farm populations and food systems to exogenous change, whether in relation to climatic extremes, market shocks, epidemics or other concerns, have typically been approached through a focus on the place of food production or the specific sub-sector exposed to stress. Relatively little attention has been paid to the ways in which national institutions, history and social expectations transform the same signals of global change into very different outcomes in distinct geographic contexts. The channels that convey signals of change from the global to the local may also work in reverse, connecting the responses and choices of households in one geographic context to outcomes and choices of other households in quite distant places. We draw from recent case studies of farm-level vulnerability and livelihood security in Mexico and Vietnam to demonstrate that coffee smallholders’ independent responses to the risks and opportunities associated with global scale economic and environmental change, are teleconnected and thus can create feedbacks which in turn affect the present and future vulnerabilities of other smallholders around the globe.