This article analyses the key pillars of the neoliberal policies as well as their impact on agrarian change on a world scale. Since the beginning of the 1980s various countries started to dismantle the developmentalist and protectionist state by intensifying their links with the world economy. The „imperative of the market‟ became the principal force of agrarian change and the state. The neoliberals argued that the developmentalist policies had an „urban bias‟ favouring industry and plundering agriculture. The validity of these „populist‟ arguments is examined to then evaluate the transformations of the globalizing neoliberal project.
It is found that the liberalization of markets has intensified the processes of land concentration and other natural resources through various mechanisms such as „land grabbing‟ thereby further cornering peasant farming. Agroindustry has spearheaded these transformations in the countryside by expanding its control over the value chains, introducing new technologies and increasing their exploitation of workers by creating a precariat, thereby greatly swelling their profits. Finally, the transnational La Vía Campesina social movement is highlighted as it has led the struggle against neoliberalism brandishing its „food sovereignty‟ proposal.

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Revista Latinoamericana de Estudios Rurales
International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University (ISS)

Kay, C. (2016). La transformación neoliberal del mundo rural: procesos de concentración de la tierra y del capital y la intensificación de la precariedad del trabajo. Revista Latinoamericana de Estudios Rurales, 1(1), 1–26. Retrieved from