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Reframing 'crisis' in fair trade coffee production: trajectories of agrarian change in Nicaragua

Fraser, J., Fisher, E. and Arce, A. (2014) Reframing 'crisis' in fair trade coffee production: trajectories of agrarian change in Nicaragua. Journal of Agrarian Change, 14 (1). pp. 52-73. ISSN 1471-0366

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1111/joac.12014

Abstract/Summary

A focus on crisis provides a methodological window to understand how agrarian change shapes producer engagement in fair trade. This orientation challenges a seperation between the market and development, situating fair trade within global processes that incorporate agrarian histories of social change and conflict. Reframing crisis as a condition of agrarian life, rather than emphasizing its cyclical manifestation within the global economy, reveals how market-driven development encompasses the material conditions of peoples' existence in ambiguous and contradictory ways. Drawing on the case of coffee production in Nicaragua, experiences of crisis demonstrate that greater attention needs to be paid to the socioeconomic and political dimensions of development within regional commodity assemblages to address entrenched power relations and unequal access to land and resources. This questions moral certainties when examining the paradox of working in and against the market, and suggests that a better understanding of specific trajectories of development could improve fair trade's objective of enhancing producer livelihoods.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Economic and Social Sciences Division > Livelihoods Research
ID Code:30536
Uncontrolled Keywords:agrarian change, development, fair trade, coffee, Nicaragua
Publisher:Blackwell Publishing

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