Popular Demobilization, Agribusiness Mobilization, and the Agrarian Boom in Post-Neoliberal Argentina
Keywords:Demobilization, Business mobilization, GM soybeans, neoliberalism, Argentina
AbstractBased on ethnographic research, archival data, and a catalog of protest events, this article analyzes the relationship between popular social movements, business mobilization, and institutional politics in Argentina during the post-neoliberal phase, which arguably began circa 2003. How did waves of popular mobilization in the 1990s shape business mobilization in the 2000s? How did contentious politics influence institutional politics in the post-neoliberal period? What are the changes and continuities of the agrarian boom that cut across the neoliberal and post-neoliberal periods? While I zoom in on Argentina, the article goes beyond this case by contributing to three discussions. First, rather than limiting the analysis to the customary focus on the mobilization of subordinated actors, it examines the demobilization of popular social movements, the mobilization of business sectors, and the connections between the two. Second, it shows the ways in which the state can simultaneously challenge neoliberal principles while also favoring the global corporations that dominate the contemporary neoliberal food regime. Finally, the case of Argentina sheds light on the political economy of the "Left turn" in Latin America, particularly the negative socio-environmental impacts of commodity booms. The article concludes that researchers need to pay closer attention to the connections between contentious and institutional politics, and to the protean possibilities of neoliberalism to inspire collective actions.
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