IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Land Change Regimes and the Evolution of the Maize-Cattle Complex in Neoliberal Mexico

Listed author(s):
  • Yankuic Galvan-Miyoshi


    (Department of Geography, Michigan State University, 673 Auditorium Rd, Room 116, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
    Department of Geography, University of Florida, 3141 Turlington Hall, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA)

  • Robert Walker


    (Department of Geography, University of Florida, 3141 Turlington Hall, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
    Center for Latin American Studies, University of Florida, 370A Grinter Hall, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA)

  • Barney Warf


    (Department of Geography, University of Kansas, 1475 Jayhawk Blvd 213, Lindley Hall, Lawrence, KS 66045, USA)

Registered author(s):

    How globalization impacts native land cover has become an important issue in studies addressing environmental change, which draw explicit attention to processes of cause and effect operating over significant distances. The literature shows that globalization constitutes an important underlying driver of both deforestation and forest transition via demographic and economic phenomena such as migration and remittance flows. Yet, little is known about how global forces mold the spatial structure of agro-commodity production and how this impacts the balance of forces affecting land change at the meso-scale, within the boundaries of the nation-state. The research presented here fills this gap by examining production networks for Mexico, a large OECD country with complex land change dynamics that has recently experienced a dramatic opening to the world economy. Specifically, we consider how maize and beef commodity chains evolved over the past few decades into a highly interdependent maize-cattle complex, and suggest linkages to patterns of land change at the national scale. Using land cover maps for 1993, 2002, and 2012, at the national scale, governmental statistics and datasets, interviews with key informants, and field observations the article provides an analysis of the impact of neoliberal reforms on the changing geography of beef and maize production, and argues that this process underlies the evolution of Mexico’s land change regime, both before and after the NAFTA reforms. As such, the article presents an account, and a case for further research on the topic of how teleconnections are constituted by spatially-extensive food production networks.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Article provided by MDPI, Open Access Journal in its journal Land.

    Volume (Year): 4 (2015)
    Issue (Month): 3 (August)
    Pages: 1-24

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:gam:jlands:v:4:y:2015:i:3:p:754-777:d:54626
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    in new window

    1. Martin Hess & Henry Wai-Chung Yeung, 2006. "Whither global production networks in economic geography? Past, present, and future," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 38(7), pages 1193-1204, July.
    2. Busch, Christopher B. & Vance, Colin, 2011. "The Diffusion of Cattle Ranching and Deforestation – Prospects for a Hollow Frontier in Mexico's Yucatán," Ruhr Economic Papers 242, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    3. J. Edward Taylor & Antonio Yunez-Naude, 2000. "The Returns from Schooling in a Diversified Rural Economy," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 82(2), pages 287-297.
    4. Appendini, Kirsten & Liverman, Diana, 1994. "Agricultural policy, climate change and food security in Mexico," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 149-164, April.
    5. Wood, David, 1996. "The benign effect of some agricultural specialization on the environment," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 107-111, November.
    6. de Janvry, Alain & Sadoulet, Elisabeth & de Anda, Gustavo Gordillo, 1995. "NAFTA and Mexico's maize producers," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 23(8), pages 1349-1362, August.
    7. Hecht, Susanna B., 1985. "Environment, development and politics: Capital accumulation and the livestock sector in Eastern Amazonia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 13(6), pages 663-684, June.
    8. Frank Ackerman & Timothy A. Wise & Kevin P. Gallagher & Luke Ney & Regina Flores, "undated". "03-06 "Free Trade, Corn, and the Environment: Environmental Impacts of US – Mexico Corn Trade Under NAFTA"," GDAE Working Papers 03-06, GDAE, Tufts University.
    9. Harvey, David, 2007. "A Brief History of Neoliberalism," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199283279.
    10. Yunez-Naude, Antonio & Edward Taylor, J., 2001. "The Determinants of Nonfarm Activities and Incomes of Rural Households in Mexico, with Emphasis on Education," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 561-572, March.
    11. Arild Angelsen & Thomas K. Rudel, 2013. "Designing and Implementing Effective REDD + Policies: A Forest Transition Approach," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 7(1), pages 91-113, January.
    12. Neil M. Coe & Peter Dicken & Martin Hess, 2008. "Global production networks: realizing the potential," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(3), pages 271-295, May.
    13. Caterina Marchionni, 2006. "Contrastive explanation and unrealistic models: The case of the new economic geography," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(4), pages 425-446.
    14. Christopher B. Busch & Colin Vance, 2011. "The Diffusion of Cattle Ranching and Deforestation: Prospects for a Hollow Frontier in Mexico’s Yucatán," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 87(4), pages 682-698.
    15. Jennifer Bair & Marion Werner, 2011. "Commodity chains and the uneven geographies of global capitalism: a disarticulations perspective," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 43(5), pages 988-997, May.
    16. Robert Walker, 2004. "Theorizing Land-Cover and Land-Use Change: The Case of Tropical Deforestation," International Regional Science Review, , vol. 27(3), pages 247-270, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:gam:jlands:v:4:y:2015:i:3:p:754-777:d:54626. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (XML Conversion Team)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.