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This paper compares the agrarian development of two indigenous communities in the highlands of Ecuador who specialize in nontraditional agricultural exports (NTAE). It…
This paper compares the agrarian development of two indigenous communities in the highlands of Ecuador who specialize in nontraditional agricultural exports (NTAE). It brings together the peasant theory with literature on the environmental impact of globalization.
Through a comparative ethnography, based on six months of participant observation and interviewers, I illustrate the differences in production processes and explain the divergent trajectories of agrarian modernization.
I found that NTAE impacted the two communities differently: one became more ecologically sustainable and the other became more environmentally exploitative. However, neither case fits squarely within the framework of modern/traditional or peasant/capitalist. Instead of traditional environmentalism and individualistic exploitation, we see the reverse: individualistic environmentalism and traditional exploitation. That is, ecological methods are paired with individualistic competition, and environmental exploitation takes place within a system of communal solidarity.
With buyer-driven organic certification standards, global integration does not always lead to ecological degradation. For quinoa growers, traditional production practices persist not as resistance to global capitalism but as a strategy to access high-value export markets. Broccoli farmers, although exploitative of local natural resources and their own health, do so within communal institutions that buffer against individualistic risk-taking.
This comparative case presents an alternative depiction of modernization as complex and nonlinear.
This chapter aims to analyse the evolution of competing paradigms and theoretical frameworks that have pervaded the debates on the present and future of agricultural and…
This chapter aims to analyse the evolution of competing paradigms and theoretical frameworks that have pervaded the debates on the present and future of agricultural and food systems and their associated rural areas. From this global overview, we will extract common features of paradigms that are being reproduced over time as well as highlight the innovations introduced. Particular attention will be paid to discuss the responses and contributions inspired by European Mediterranean-based research, setting up the framework that underlines the subsequent chapters of the volume.
Rural development is, above all, constructed by actors operating at grass-root level. These actors are increasingly facilitated by specific policy programmes, but these…
Rural development is, above all, constructed by actors operating at grass-root level. These actors are increasingly facilitated by specific policy programmes, but these programmes often follow the initiatives and practices already developed by the grass-root actors themselves. Policies follow, they do not trigger nor drive. This chapter is a second-level analysis of available European and national research material and focuses on the role of agricultural actors as crucial co-constitutors of RD processes. Some distinctive elements and characteristics of RD-practitioners are identified, described and discussed. Taken together these characteristics underscore that RD-actors may reflect distinctive features. It is finally argued that RD-actors will develop especially distinctive personal attributes through iterative learning by doing processes and unfolding agency. Both are thought to be key components of the resilience of RD-actors to withstand adverse conditions and to grasp new opportunities for alternative, more promising agricultural pathways.
Recurrent “methodological disputes” have haunted the social sciences, again and again polarizing the case-oriented quest for specification against the natural science…
Recurrent “methodological disputes” have haunted the social sciences, again and again polarizing the case-oriented quest for specification against the natural science inspired quest for general, high-level theory. As a consequence, too much social science research is captured in either one of two vicious circles: ever more highly specified monographic case studies or preoccupation with periodically shifting general theories. The interaction of these two circles increases the risk of widespread amnesia: as social scientists are either bogged down in a stream of cases or flying high with the most recent grand (meta-)theories, social science forgets the actual empirical knowledge that is being meticulously created, maintained and revised in the daily handicraft carried out by a growing mass of researchers.
In this chapter the aim is to analyse the way the relationship between health and food has been changing at the same time as Spanish society itself. From the beginnings of…
In this chapter the aim is to analyse the way the relationship between health and food has been changing at the same time as Spanish society itself. From the beginnings of the consumer society until the present day the modernization process has made its imprint on the guidelines public bodies have issued to the public on caring for their health and diet. Beginning in the 1960s with a welfare idea of a healthy diet, very typical of the decade, and meant for a population with nutritional problems, today we have guidelines for an overfed population. The social trends dominant in each historical moment are shown throughout this transformation process and the dietary recommendations have been part of the social change. However, the perceptions of the administration itself on what constitutes a healthy diet have also made their mark on the criteria. The modernizing nature of the paternalistic administration of the 1960s can be easily seen in contrast with the public bodies of the 1980s competing with the messages from the food and agricultural businesses. As the 20th century drew to a close, dietary advice was in keeping with a background dominated by considerations on the nature of social change and in which both public bodies and citizens trusted in the truths of science as a reference point for correct action. At the beginning of the 21st century, reflexivity and questioning of scientific power appear and also an increase in public preoccupation with food risks. Each stage is analysed relating historical background and dietary recommendations.
The purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact on household and farming systems of government efforts to modernise production, build scale and develop…
The purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact on household and farming systems of government efforts to modernise production, build scale and develop specialisation in the Tibet dairy industry.
An overview of policy strategies and industry developments is used to frame detailed micro-level analysis of household and farming systems where impacts on households are explored from both a comparative static and dynamic perspective.
Specialisation and intensification improve household returns but elicit major changes in the farming and household systems and engagement with external markets. For instance, scaling up from three to ten improved cows increases returns from farm activities by one-half but shifts households from a state of food self-sufficiency to one where they need to sell two-thirds of their dairy products and buy three-fifths of their livestock feed.
The diversity among Tibetan farm households and the dynamic changes occurring in farm productivity, product markets and agrarian systems means that the empirical results are used as illustrative rather than definitive.
Relative to the large attention on the Chinese dairy industry with regard to food safety and industry development, the impacts of dairy specialisation on smallholders especially in western China have been overlooked. The case highlights several issues relevant to agrarian transition and development including changing labour use, risk exposure and engagement with external markets.
The emerging synthesis between nonviolent action and contentious politics studies has yielded important insights. Yet it also reproduces the dichotomy between politics and…
The emerging synthesis between nonviolent action and contentious politics studies has yielded important insights. Yet it also reproduces the dichotomy between politics and culture that continues to haunt both fields. Extending recent work by Jean-Pierre Reed and John Foran, our contribution introduces the political cultures of nonviolent opposition concept to forge a new synthesis, one that recognizes the politics of nonviolent culture and the culture of nonviolent politics. We apply our theoretical framework to two empirical cases, the Indian independence movement and the Landless Workers Movement in Brazil (known as Movimento Sem Terra or MST), and conclude with ideas for further research on political cultures of nonviolent opposition.
Neo‐classical utility theory has withstood several decades of sustained criticism. Its success has been due (1) to the ability of the theory to represent an essentially non‐analytical process by analytical methods, and (2) to the fact that the theory was developed for, and applied to, advanced market economies where the simplifying assumptions are most appropriate. It is argued below that the neo‐classical formulation is inappropriate in societies where agrarian traditions predominate and that, consequently, economic policies based on such an approach have frequently been misdirected.
Expert witnessing in asylum cases involves depicting the conditions of the applicant’s home country as a context for judging a well-founded fear for life or safety. Most…
Expert witnessing in asylum cases involves depicting the conditions of the applicant’s home country as a context for judging a well-founded fear for life or safety. Most of the elements involved in the work of the expert country witness are dynamic and change over time, creating new challenges and new resources for describing and interpreting country context. Examining several characteristic Honduran asylum cases separated by 20 years reveals not only an increasingly complex and multifaceted set of relevant conditions in both the sending and the host country, but also a significant broadening of the anthropological “tool kit” available to the expert country witness (as the expert witness becomes aware of its relevance to country conditions at a particular time), and an increasingly reflexive and complex relationship of the expert witness to the country in question and to the court. In the interim, emerging problems of contextual complexity, subjectivity, changing and competing images of reality, and the shifting applicability of legal and sociological definitions and categories arise and can be partially addressed with emerging anthropological or social scientific resources, raising anew the nature of the relationship of the expert witness to the court and the possible mutual influence of social science and legal culture upon each other over time. As the number of refugee seekers increases globally, can expert witnesses trained in social sciences help asylum courts to imagine new ways of bridging the gap between legal regimes of governmentality and the subjectivity of refugees?