The New Plenty; How Capital Transformed Russia’s Agrifood System
- Date: –17:00
- Location: Institute for Russian and Eurasian Studies (IRES) Gamla torget 3, 3 floor, IRES Library
- Organiser: Institutet för Rysslands- och Eurasienstudier (IRES)
- Contact person: Jevgenija Gehsbarga
- Phone: 018 471 1630
This seminar with Dr. Susanne Wengle (SCAS/University of Notre Dame) focuses on an unprecedented influx of capital to the agrifood system that has taken place over the last fifteen years in Russia, its causes and consequences.
Russia’s agrifood system has undergone profound changes over the last fifteen years. Large capital investments in rural economies and in processing industries have led to significant increases in production and productivity, and to dramatic changes in how food is produced and processed. Agrifood corporations have emerged as new and important actors – as land-owners, as producers, and for the global integration of Russia’s economy more generally. The transformation of the country’s food system aligns with several political priorities of the Putin regime and was, in many ways, made possible through a cornucopia of public support measures.
The presentation outlines key dimensions of this transformation and proposes a conceptual framework that captures their relevance. In particular, it will focus on an unprecedented influx of capital to the agrifood system that has taken place over the last fifteen years, its causes and consequences. The presentation highlights how constitutive relationships between various actors have changed with capital inflows and the rise of agri-food corporations, including the relationship between former collective farms and rural communities, the relationship between domestic and international producers, and finally, the relationship between producers, the livestock they raise and the environment in production takes place. This evidence suggests a conceptual framework of post-Soviet change that goes beyond a stylized “transition” from plan-to-market narrative, and brings into focus the reconfiguration of myriad relationships that the introduction of markets as organizing principles of social life entails.
Susanne Wengle is currently a fellow at the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Studies (SCAS). She is also assistant professor in the Political Science Department at the University of Notre Dame, with a Ph.D. from the from University of California Berkeley. Before joining Notre Dame’s faculty, she was a post-doc at University of Chicago. Her research examine how market institutions evolve; hence what “politics” make them possible, but also how their effects change the political conditions in which they were formulated. She is the author of Post-Soviet Power: State-led Development and Russia’s Marketization (2015, Cambridge University Press), which examines the political economy of newly created electricity markets in Russia, and more generally engages with questions how we study markets in the post-Soviet context and beyond. The book was awarded honorable mention in the 2016 Ed. Hewett Book Prize for an outstanding monograph in political economy, by the Association for Study of Eastern Europe, Eurasian and Slavic Studies (ASEEES). She has also conducted research and published on other aspects of the post-Soviet transformations - on the effects of sanctions, on welfare reforms and the politics of expertise, and her publications have appeared in Governance, Governance and Regulation, Economy and Society, Studies in Comparative International Development, Europe-Asia Studies, Post-Soviet Affairs, and Slavic Review.