Collective Action as a Prerequisite for Economic and Social Upgrading in Agricultural Production Networks

Ismail Doga Karatepe, Christoph Scherrer
DOI number

#Agriculture and food
#Trade and FDI
#Social and working conditions

This article highlights the importance of collective action and the role of the state in upgrading the social and economic conditions of farmworkers and smallholders. It is argued that economic upgrading does not automatically translate into social upgrading for workers and small producers and explores the conditions conducive to social upgrading. The asymmetric power relations among actors in the agricultural value chain erect barriers that hinder social upgrading of smallholders and farmworkers. Collective actions of those who are currently underprivileged in the agricultural value chains and the efforts of states can dismantle these barriers. Drawing on theories relating to power resources and the state, the article documents three successful examples from Pakistan and Brazil where collective action and state involvement have partially dismantled barriers against upgrading.


Christoph Scherrer

University of Kassel

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