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Keywords:

  • agriculture;
  • biotechnology;
  • GMOs;
  • Latin America

This research explores the role of agrarian and environmental movements in contesting the development and promotion of agricultural biotechnology through trade liberalization in Latin America. Organized around themes of mobilization, participation and representation, it raises key questions about who mobilizes and how, and about the strategic dilemmas that arise when movements with different histories, membership bases and cultures of protest attempt to work together. Issues of accountability, representation and participation run through the analysis of strategies of organization and claim-making adopted by an eclectic range of groups seeking to contest the role of biotechnology in the structure of agricultural production, the institutions that manage that relationship and the discourses which sustain it. In particular, analysis centres on their responsiveness to the concerns and agendas of poorer groups in the front line of the ‘gene revolution’ as it plays out in the Latin American countryside, in particular in Argentina and Brazil, the key players in biotechnology in the region.