Financialization is the increased influence of financial actors and logics on social and economic life, and is one of the key drivers transforming food systems and rural economies around the world. The premise of this book is that the actions of financial actors, and their financial logics, are transforming agri-food systems in profound ways. It is shown that although financialization is a powerful dynamic, some recent developments suggest that the rollout of financialization is contradictory and uneven in different spaces and markets. The book examines cases in which state regulation or re-regulation and social movement resistance are setting roadblocks or speed bumps in the path of financialization, resulting in a ‘cooling off’ of investment, as well as the other side of the argument where there is evidence of a ‘heating up’. The authors address not only the limits to financialization, but also the mechanisms through which financial entities are able to penetrate and re-shape agri-food industries.
This book provides both a comparative analysis of financialization blending, and empirical findings with conceptual insights. It explores the connection between financialization, food systems, and rural transformation by critically examining: the concept of financialization and how food and farming are being financialized; the impacts of financialization in the food industry; and financialization in farming and forestry – along with the impacts this has on rural people and communities. This is a timely book, bringing together concrete case studies, from around the globe, to reveal the operations and impacts of finance capital in the ‘space’ of agri-food.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: The Financialization of Agri-food Part I How are Food and Farming being ‘Financialized’? 2. The Concept of ‘Financialization’: Criticisms and Insights 3. Profit, Aid and Ethics in Public Financialization 4. Strategic Financialization? The Emergence of Sovereign Wealth Funds in the Global Food System 5. Opening the Black Boxes of Finance-Gone-Farming: A Global Analysis of Assetization 6. Farmland Values: Media and Public Discourses around Farmland Investment in Canada and Australia Part II Financialization of the Food Industry 7. Riding the Waves of Crises: Finance, Food and Political Tumult in Egypt 8. Financialization in Japanese Agri-food Regimes: Uncovering the Role of Sogo-shosha in Global Soy Investment 9. Poultry Grabs and Agri-food Financialization: The Case of JBS of Brazil 10. Between Cooperative and Private Equity Capital in the Norwegian Food Sector: How do the Corporate, Cultural and Political Environments Make a Difference? Part III Financialization of Farming and Forestry 11. Old Roots, New Shoots: Thickening the Local Histories of Agri-food Financialization 12. Canadian Supply Management as a Bulwark against Financialization 13. The Local Counterparts of Financialization: Organizational Accomplishments of Farm/land Investments and Sales 14. Financialization and the Swedish Land Acquisition Act 15. Institutional Investment in a Multi-functional Forested Landscape: Neoliberalism and Pragmatism in Contemporary Land conservation
Hilde Bjørkhaug is Research Professor at Ruralis – Institute for Rural and Regional Research, Trondheim, Norway.
André Magnan is Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and Social Studies at the University of Regina, Canada.
Geoffrey Lawrence is Emeritus Professor of Sociology in the School of Social Science at The University of Queensland, Australia.