Agrarian extractivism, social movements and the State: insights from Latin American progressive cycle
Sprache des Vortragstitels:
Philosophical Thinking on the Developmental Trend of Globalization in the Future
Sprache des Tagungstitel:
Following decades of neoliberal restructuring, leftist presidents were elected in several Latin American countries from the late 1990s onwards. Social movements played a key role in bringing them to power. Their hopes for fundamental change and structural reform were rather disappointed though.
The paper addresses the contentious relationship between progressive governments and social movements in Brazil, Argentina and Bolivia. A central arena of conflicts was the increased commodification of land and the expansion of agrarian extractivism, i.e. the production and export of cash crops like soy and other oil seeds, used for animal feed and agro-fuels in the global North.
Taking the expansion of soy production as a starting point, the paper analyses the dynamics and social forces in this process. The focus is on capital, the role of the state, and the strategies of (rural) social movements and peasant groups. From a comparative perspective, it shows how rural social movements became disarticulated (Brazil), demobilised (Argentina) and fractured (Bolivia). Class analysis and critical state theory, adapted for (semi-)peripheral contexts, form the basis of the investigation and help to explain both the room of manoeuvre for progressive social forces and its limits.