The Neoliberal Regime in the Agri-Food Sector
Crisis, Resilience and Restructuring
Edited by Steven Wolf, Alessandro Bonanno
To Be Published December 15th 2013 by Routledge – 320 pages
Series: Earthscan Food and Agriculture
For the last three decades, the Neoliberal regime, emphasising economic growth through deregulation, free trade and the role of the private sector, has shaped production and consumption processes in agriculture and food. More recently social instability and protest, economic recessions, political uncertainties and ecological degradation and risks have prompted claims that we now confront a systemic crisis. The regulatory mechanisms and patterns of material flow that constitute the contemporary agri-food regime are implicated in contemporary global insecurities. The capacity to maintain the legitimacy and material coherence of the neoliberal regime is in doubt.
This book presents an informed, constructive dialogue around the thesis that we have reached some institutional and material limits. Is the Neoliberal regime exhausted? Are we at the outset of a new regime? And if so, what are the opportunities and risks linked to the construction of a new regime? The book advances a critical evaluation of the evidence supporting claims of rupture of, or incursions into, the Neoliberal model. It also analyzes pragmatic responses to these critiques including policy initiatives, social mobilization and experimentation at various scales and points of entry.
At the level of theory, the book surveys and synthesizes a range of sociological frames designed to grapple with the concepts of systemic crisis and transitions. Empirical contributions include longitudinal analysis of secondary data and case studies of food and agriculture from around the globe. These highlight particular aspects of crisis and responses, including the potential for continued resilience, a neo-productivist return, as well as the emergence of new models and the scaling up of existing alternative models.
Steven A. Wolf and Alessandro Bonanno
Part 1: Theoretical Analyses and Key Concepts
1. The Legitimation Crisis of Neoliberal Globalization: Instances from Agriculture and Food
2. How Neoliberal Myths Endanger Democracy and Open New Avenues for Democratic Action
3. Policing the New Enclosures: On Violence, Primitive Accumulation, and Crisis in the Neoliberal Food System
Part 2: Case Studies
4. The Rise and Fall of a Prairie Giant: the Canadian Wheat Board in Food Regime History
5. Navigating the Neoliberal-Nativist Interface: Farmer Survival and the Construction of Racially Segregated Workplaces
6. Creating Rupture through Policy: Considering the Importance of Ideas in Agrifood Change
Rebecca L. Som Castellano
7. Beyond Farming: Cases of Revitalization of Rural Communities through Multi-Role Community Farming Enterprise as Social Service Provider
Part 3: Research Opportunities
8. To Bt or not to Bt? State, Civil Society, and Firms Debate GM Seeds in Democratic India
9. Turning of the Tide: Rising Discontent over Transgenic Crops in Brazil
10. U.S. Agrienvironmental Policy: Neoliberalization of Nature Meets Old Public Management
11. For Competitiveness Sake?: Material Competition vs. Competitiveness as a National Project
12. The Neoliberal Food Regime in Latin America: State, Agribusiness Transnational Corporations and Biotechnology
13. ‘Just Another Asset Class’?: Neoliberalism, Finance, and the Construction of Farmland Investment
14. Neoliberalism in the Antipodes: Understanding the Influence and Limits of the Neoliberal Political Project
15. Conclusion: The Plasticity and Contested Terrain of Neoliberalism
Steven A. Wolf and Alessandro Bonanno
Steven Wolf is an Associate Professor in the Department of Natural Resources at Cornell University, USA. He is alsoa senior lecturer in the Centre for Environmental Policy at Imperial College, University of London, UK.
Alessandro Bonanno is Texas State University System Regents’ Professor of Sociology, based at Sam Houston State University, Texas, USA.