Accepted paper:

Rethinking the nexus of export and domestic agri-food value chains in the global South: advancing a disarticulations perspective


Marion Werner (SUNY-Buffalo)

Paper short abstract:

This paper applies a 'disarticulations perspective' to GVC/GPN studies to elucidate unexplored production and regulatory connections between export and domestic agri-food value chains. Special attention is paid to the State's role in shaping production for these different markets.

Paper long abstract:

A disarticulations perspective centers uneven development in the study of global value chains and global production networks (GVC/GPN). It explores the relationship between strategies of incorporation and continued inclusion in GVCs, and forms of territorial and social unevenness in the global economy. This paper explores what this perspective can offer to the study of agri-food value chains. GVC/GPN studies in this area tend to focus on so-called non-traditional exports as farmers in the global South seek incorporation into new export markets in response to neoliberal development policies. Scholarly and policy focus on the terms of export value chain inclusion, however, may overstate the demise of 'national' agriculture -- that is, production dedicated to domestic consumption -- and its continued importance to rural development and state legitimacy. At a minimum, it fails to explore the significance of contemporary state interventions into domestic agriculture, including forms of social protection not only for low-income consumers, but also for farmers. In light of these observations, I suggest an approach to agri-food value chains that explores interactions and connections between farmers and policies directed towards these different end markets. By doing so, at least three areas of research come into view: uneven development of states' capacities and opportunities for domestic market protection versus export promotion; farmer strategies tied to production for both domestic and export markets; and, finally, the significance of global South farmers as consumers of global input value chains. I develop this argument through a case study of the Dominican Republic.

panel H5
Global value chains, the state and the political economy of development