The ‘new development’ in agriculture is given in a context where developing countries persistently seek out internal reorganizations and new institutional arrangements that improve its competitiveness in the global market (Harvey, 2005: 65). In order to do so, they also enforce neoliberal policies which designed to open up markets for biofuels and to strengthen the private property over lands. Therefore the state plays a key role since ‘the neoliberal state favors strong individual private property rights, the rule of law and the institutions of freely functioning markets and free trade’ (Harvey. 2005: 64), thus justifying and legitimizing a process of land concentration. In that process ‘‘the murky politics of land grabs unfolds, new interactions are evident between state actors and private companies (investing in new agribusiness operations, often involving biofuel feedstocks), and finance’’ (Borras et al. 2010:583). Those trends occurred especially in countries lacking institutional capacity or political will to enhance participation and public consultations for communities. Instead, the public agencies responsible for this work are both poorly structured and financially impoverished to credibly conduct this work (Taylor, 1998: 9) Another relevant aspect of Neoliberalism hinges upon the active mobilization of state power, insofar as it ‘produces legislation and regulatory frameworks that advantage corporations, and in some instances specific interests such as energy,
9 agribusiness, etc.’ (Harvey, 2005: 77). Consequently, in many developing countries ‘investors are treated more favorably than local smallholders, by reducing tax payments and the ability to obtain land and other resources’ (Deininger, 2011: 244). Governments seem to have aligned themselves with investors, thereby helping to evict people from the land. However, such a process finds itself with growing resistance as ‘‘Neoliberalism is opposed by diverse social forces concerned to preserve non-market or ‘socialized’ forms of coordination that constrain unfettered capital accumulation and impose limits upon the process of commodification’’(Heynen, 2007: 154). The massive enclosures from the private and public fronts manifest ‘accumulation by dispossession’ and the opposition and resistance to the state take shape from the dispossessed and disenfranchised groups. Therefore, ‘‘in the event of a conflict, the typical neoliberal state will tend to side with a good business climate as opposed to either the well-being of the population’’(Harvey, 2005: 70). In fact, the coercive arm of the state is augmented to protect corporate interests and, if necessary, to repress dissent (Ibid: 77). To further illustrate, as the opposition to accumulation by dispossession tend be stronger in developing countries, the role of the neoliberal state quickly assumes that of an active repression even to the point of low-level warfare against oppositional movements. Such movements are contained by the state power through a mix of co-optation and marginalization
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