China’s Agribusiness

Restoring the State Back to Food Regime Theory: China’s Agribusiness and the Global Soybean Commodity Chain” (DOI: 10.1080/00472336.2022.2032279) is a new JCA article by  Scott Y. Lin of the Graduate Institute of Development Studies, National Chengchi University, Taipei, Taiwan.

The abstract for the article states:

Food regime theory identifies three distinct food regimes on a world scale: the British (1870–1930s), American (1945–1970s), and corporate food regimes (since the 1980s). In the first two regimes, political economic orders were dominated by two separate nation states, whereas the current third regime is dominated by a few mega-corporations. Consequently, traditional super nation states are finding it challenging to use food trade measures to ensure favourable world orders. However, China’s state-owned agribusiness enterprises are quickly joining hands with the corporate food regime. This study aims to answer the following questions: Where is the state in the contemporary corporate food regime? How are these rising Chinese state-owned agribusiness enterprises changing the current food regime context? Applying the food regime theory, this paper aims to analyse the expansion of China’s influence in the global soybean commodity chain, which is driven by four forces from the corporate food regime: liberalisation, technologicalisation, securitisation, and accumulation. These forces lead the Chinese state apparatus to address China’s domestic food needs and then to establish agricultural free trade projects, biotechnology projects, soybean commodity-chain nationalisation projects, and transnational land-grabbing investments. Furthermore, such a dynamic Chinese food security context is gradually moving towards a “state-owned enterprise corporate food regime.”

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