Edited by Alessandro Bonanno and Lawrence Busch
Chapter 5: The political economy of agriculture in Colombia: An unfinished business
In Colombia, the social relations and historical trajectory of land distribution are complex and multidimensional. Largely shaped by regional, socio-political, economic and cultural differences, as well as biophysical and climate conditions, the Colombian political economy of agriculture is a kaleidoscope of social relations entrenched in struggles over the (dis)possession of land embedded in the multiple layers of local, regional, national and global historical and economic processes. To this end, we apply Harvey’s (2005) concept of accumulation through dispossession to partially explain how particular factors have shaped social relations in rural areas through the prism of land and its distribution. Here, we find that in contrast to the fluidity of social relations, land and its materiality is a useful means to analytically ground dynamic and complex social, political, economic and class relations with the objective to identify trends across time and space. We add to Harvey’s conceptualization of accumulation by dispossession, which is largely focused on economic relations, by incorporating the socio-political aspects that accompany economic accumulation and the crisis of legitimacy.
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