1st Edition

The Neoliberal Regime in the Agri-Food Sector Crisis, Resilience, and Restructuring

Edited By Steven Wolf, Alessandro Bonanno Copyright 2014
    332 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    320 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    For the last three decades, the Neoliberal regime, emphasising economic growth through deregulation, market integration, expansion of the private sector, and contraction of the welfare state has shaped production and consumption processes in agriculture and food. These institutional arrangements emerged from and advanced academic and popular beliefs about the virtues of private, market-based coordination relative to public, state-based problem solving. This book presents an informed, constructive dialogue around the thesis that the Neoliberal mode of governance has reached some institutional and material limits. Is Neoliberalism exhausted? How should we understand crisis applied to Neoliberalism? What are the opportunities and risks linked to the construction of alternatives? 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. 

    The book surveys and synthesizes a range of sociological frames designed to grapple with the concepts of regimes, systemic crisis and transitions. Contributions include historical analysis, comparative analysis 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 and scaling up of 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 

    Alessandro Bonanno 

    2. How Neoliberal Myths Endanger Democracy and Open New Avenues for Democratic Action 

    Lawrence Busch 

    3. Policing the New Enclosures: On Violence, Primitive Accumulation, and Crisis in the Neoliberal Food System 

    Morgan Buck 

    Part 2: Case Studies 

    4. The Rise and Fall of a Prairie Giant: the Canadian Wheat Board in Food Regime History 

    André Magnan 

    5. Navigating the Neoliberal-Nativist Interface: Farmer Survival and the Construction of Racially Segregated Workplaces 

    Jill Harrison 

    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 

    Haruhiko Iba and Kiyohiko Sakamoto 

    Part 3: Research Opportunities 

    8. To Bt or not to Bt? State, Civil Society, and Firms Debate GM Seeds in Democratic India 

    Devparna Roy 

    9. Turning of the Tide: Rising Discontent over Transgenic Crops in Brazil 

    Karine Peschard 

    10. U.S. Agrienvironmental Policy: Neoliberalization of Nature Meets Old Public Management 

    Steven A. Wolf 

    11. For Competitiveness Sake?: Material Competition vs. Competitiveness as a National Project 

    Anouk Patel-Campillo 

    12. The Neoliberal Food Regime in Latin America: State, Agribusiness Transnational Corporations and Biotechnology 

    Gerardo Otero 

    13. ‘Just Another Asset Class’?: Neoliberalism, Finance, and the Construction of Farmland Investment 

    Madeleine Fairbairn 

    14. Neoliberalism in the Antipodes: Understanding the Influence and Limits of the Neoliberal Political Project 

    Geoffrey Lawrence Hugh Campbell 

    15. Conclusion: The Plasticity and Contested Terrain of Neoliberalism 

    Steven A. Wolf and Alessandro Bonanno


    Steven A. Wolf is Associate Professor in the Department of Natural Resources at Cornell University, New York, USA. He is also a Senior Lecturer in the Centre for Environmental Policy at Imperial College, University of London, UK.

    Alessandro Bonanno is Texas State University System Regents’ Professor and Distinguished Professor of Sociology at Sam Houston State University, Texas, USA.