The political economy of rentier capitalism and the limits to agrarian transformation in Venezuela

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Abstract

This paper explores the contradictions and limits to agrarian transformation under 21st‐century socialism in Venezuela. Given the historical destruction wrought by the oil‐based accumulation process upon Venezuela's agricultural sector, the symbolic and social importance of an “agrarian revolution” could be seen as a yardstick with which to measure the progress of the Bolivarian Revolution in “sowing the oil”. Eschewing a policy focus on the role of “food sovereignty” and “food security”, the paper analyses how the dynamics of rentier‐capital accumulation have played out in the agricultural sector. The paper argues that the macroeconomic framework of the Bolivarian Revolution has diminished the possibility of expanded domestic food production and instead reduced agrarian transformation to contradictory processes of ground rent appropriation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)296-312
JournalJournal of Agrarian Change
Volume17
Issue number2
Early online date30 Mar 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017

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