The Complex Dynamics of Agriculture as a Financial Asset: Introduction to Symposium


Clapp, Jennifer , Ryan Isakson, and Oane Visser. 2017. “The Complex Dynamics of Agriculture as a Financial Asset: Introduction to Symposium”. Agriculture and Human Values 34(1): 179-183.


The contemporary process of financialization has been a major driver of the remarkable changes witnessed in global food and agricultural markets over the past decade, contributing to the rise and subsequent volatility of food and agricultural commodity prices since 2006. In the wake of these developments it has become clear that the turmoil has intensified the relationship between agriculture and finance in ways that have profound and enduring implications for the sector, and the people whose lives and livelihoods depend upon it. This symposium brings together four original research articles that contemplate the contemporary relationship between the agrifood and financial sectors. They examine a variety of overlapping themes, including the creation of financial assets from farmland and agricultural commodities, the activities of different types of investors in these assets in specific geographic contexts, and the challenges of governing this activity at the global scale. These articles show that the period of market volatility that began a decade ago re-invigorated investor interest in financial products linked to agriculture and farming, and inspired the packaging of new forms of financial assets in ways that have affected politics and practice on the ground, and are likely to leave a lasting legacy.


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