The social life of palm oil: From indigenous communities to global economic discourses

Márquez, Aiken Samuel Chew (2016) The social life of palm oil: From indigenous communities to global economic discourses. Corvinus Journal of International Affairs, 1 (2). pp. 21-44. DOI

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The economy, understood as the process of production, distribution and consumption, is organized in a way that goods, commodities and merchandise appear in our daily lives in front of us without us knowing their origins and the track they took. Using Appadurai’s approach in studying commodities and goods, this essay analyses how the African palm oil industry affects the livelihood of indigenous communities. It provides a general overview of the African palm market globally and in Guatemala. This is followed by an analysis of the three main effects the agro-industry has on the local population: landgrabbing and dispossession, violation of labour rights and ecocide (with special regard to the pollution of rivers). The ecocide in the Río la Pasión had the social force to trigger the urban population, as well as the rural population, to ask the state to make accountable the agro-industrial firms for the abuses affecting the environment – especially rivers. Finally, some normative considerations are offered, calling not for an end to palm oil production but more responsible conduct in this area by all the actors involved, including the consumption.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:palm oil, Guatemala, ecocide, environment
Subjects:Economic development
Economic policy
Commerce and tourism
ID Code:3297
Deposited By: Veronika Vitéz
Deposited On:23 Jan 2018 10:41
Last Modified:23 Jan 2018 10:41

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