Browsing Department of Sociology by Author "Bananno, Alessandro"
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ItemThe Financialization of Agriculture and Food in the Context of the Neoliberal Restructuring: Primary Characteristics and Basic Contradictions(Estudios Rurales, 2016) Bananno, AlessandroThis article examines the dynamics and characteristics of the macro-process of financialization of agriculture and food. It refers to the rapid growth of the financial sector and the concomitant trend towards the securitization of economic activities, that is, the process that reduces the entire value of the economy to financial instruments. Having pointed out the basic components of the financialization of agri-food, this article proposes the hypothesis that the evolution of the sector is largely directed by a group of actors operating within the financial sector. The article concludes that the solutions to current problems and the analysis of the agri-food sector require attention to its financial dimension. ItemGLOBALIZATION, TRANSNATIONAL CORPORATIONS, THE STATE AND DEMOCRACY(International Journal of Sociology of Agriculture, 2004) Bananno, AlessandroIn this article I argue that TNCs are the most powerful actors under globalization. Additionally, I contend that the contradictory relationship between TNCs and the state represents one of the most important aspects of this era. The core of this article, however, probes the issue of future outcomes of globalization. My point is that, while globalization is a response of the dominant groups to the gains and status that subordinate classes obtained under Fordism, it contains important contradictions that allow the possibility for the democratization of contemporary society. Under Fordism, subordinate classes’ gains established never-reached-before levels of substantive democracy. Globalization represents a dominant class’ response to this situation and, above all, an attack on labor and class based movements and the historical Left. Under globalization, the historical Left’s ability to organize and find strength in the factories and agricultural fields has been significantly diminished. Resistance emerged from new social movements. The environmental and consumer movements are two among these new social movements. Because of their focus on quality of life and consumption, they have the possibility to counter TNCs and establish substantive forms of democracy. My point is that these new social movements represent new emancipatory actors in the era of globalization. New emancipatory actors are accompanied by spaces of emancipation. I identify one of these spaces in the state. Because of its contradictory relationship with TNCs, the state is called to support and legitimize corporate actions in a situation in which TNCs tend to by-pass state demands and consequently limit the state’s ability to assist them. This situation opens up a crisis of legitimation in which the state is called to justify actions that it cannot fully control and regulate. I further argue that the contradiction of realization experienced by TNCs is another space of emancipatory action. I argue that TNCs’ need to realize their production – i.e., to sell the commodities they produce in order to transform them into money – makes them vulnerable to new social movements’ demands and create the possibility for more ethically and socially acceptable forms of production. I conclude the article by arguing that, in spite of the above mentioned contradictions and anti-corporate movements, TNCs remain firmly in control of contemporary society. This situation makes the attainment of more democratic conditions a contested terrain whose outcome will be decided by the ability of alternative forces to exploit globalization’s contradictions and use available spaces of emancipation. ItemGOVERNANCE, GLOBALIZATION, AND THE STATE(Journal of Rural Social Sciences, 2010) Bananno, AlessandroAt the outset of the second decade of the twenty-first century, rural sociology in general, and agrifood studies in particular, are characterized by a growing interest in the analysis of “governance.” In many respects, this is a surprising event as only a little over a decade ago, this topic was virtually absent from the many debates on rural and agrifood issues. Yet, there is very little disagreement on the reasons for the recent development of studies on governance. Globalization and the changed role of the state that it engendered are often cited among such reasons.