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Title: Reason to hope : economic, social and ecological virtuous circles in Chiapas, Mexico
Author: Travieso, Emilio
ISNI:       0000 0004 7653 3268
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2018
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Today's dominant economic system does harm and has little future; agro-food systems are a privileged lens for understanding both what is happening and what is at stake. There is reason to hope; many actors are experimenting with alternative models for a life-giving economy that combine agroecology, food sovereignty, and social and solidarity economy. This thesis is an exploration of one such initiative, the Misión de Bachajón (MB) in Chiapas, Mexico. In Chapter 1, I build a theoretical framework based on the economic anthropology of Stephen Gudeman. All economies consist of a dialectic tension between the realm of the market and the realm of mutuality. To ensure sustainability, the latter realm must be protected from the former's tendency to colonize it. Chapter 2 explains my ethnographic, collaborative research design. Chapter 3 is an account of the MB's overall project, which entails a sophisticated "middle peasant" model. On the one hand, the things that are essential for the community's reproduction are withdrawn from the market. At the same time, though, the MB's group of cooperatives and social businesses, Yomol A'tel, creatively engages global value chains (coffee and honey) from a position of strength. Chapter 4 shows how the model goes beyond "fair trade" to achieve very significant economic upgrading, in a way that benefits people and ecosystems. I argue that the MB's model generates economic, social, and ecological virtuous circles by refashioning "economy's tension" into a creative tension. Chapter 5 considers how the MB has achieved all of this by mobilizing its relationships with other actors. Its strategy of networked territories is not only a form of resistance to neoliberal globalization, but also contributes to building the "pluriverse," a world in which many worlds fit. In the Conclusion, I consider the ways in which the MB gives us reason to hope.
Supervisor: Rival, Laura Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Economic Anthropology ; International Development