IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Disarticulations and commodity chains: cattle, coca, and capital accumulation along Colombia’s agricultural frontier


  • Phillip A Hough


In this paper I take up Jennifer Bair and Marion Werner’s call for a commodity-chains analysis which is sensitive to particular places and articulated – disarticulated modes of capital accumulation. The analytical fix is on the Lower and Middle Caguán area of Colombia, explaining how the region became articulated into (and disarticulated from) three distinct commodity chains: a domestic cattle commodity chain (1960s until the late 1970s), a global coca commodity chain (late 1970s to the late 1990s), and a global cattle commodity chain (1990s to the present). In doing so, I find that the articulation of the region into each commodity chain rests critically upon the actions of the state and/or state-like forms of political intervention which are an attempt to rectify the class contradictions associated with the particular modes of capital accumulation associated with that chain. The region’s articulation into the domestic ‘hides and meat’ chain rested upon an exclusionary developmental state, its articulation into the global ‘cocaine’ chain rested upon the rise of a proto-state under the leadership of the FARC guerrillas, and its articulation into the global ‘dry milk’ chain has since rested upon a neoliberal state which receives military aid from the US government under the rubric of the War on Drugs and War on Terror initiatives.

Suggested Citation

  • Phillip A Hough, 2011. "Disarticulations and commodity chains: cattle, coca, and capital accumulation along Colombia’s agricultural frontier," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 43(5), pages 1016-1034, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:pio:envira:v:43:y:2011:i:5:p:1016-1034

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: abstract
    Download Restriction: Fulltext access restricted to subscribers, see for details

    File URL:
    File Function: main text
    Download Restriction: Fulltext access restricted to subscribers, see for details

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hausmann, Ricardo & Klinger, Bailey, 2008. "Growth Diagnostics in Peru," Working Paper Series rwp08-62, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    2. Dani Rodrik, 2010. "Diagnostics before Prescription," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(3), pages 33-44, Summer.
    3. Andres Rodriguez-Pose & Riccardo Crescenzi, 2006. "R&D, Spillovers, Innovation Systems and the Genesis of Regional Growth in Europe," ERSA conference papers ersa06p371, European Regional Science Association.
    4. Riccardo Crescenzi & Andrés Rodriguez-Pose & Michael Storper, 2007. "The territorial dynamics of innovation: a Europe-United States comparative analysis," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(6), pages 673-709, November.
    5. Ricardo Hausmann & Bailey Klinger, 2008. "Growth Diagnostics: Perú," Research Department Publications 2005, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    6. Andy Pike & Andres Rodriguez-Pose & John Tomaney, 2007. "What Kind of Local and Regional Development and for Whom?," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(9), pages 1253-1269.
    7. Riccardo Crescenzi, 2005. "Innovation and Regional Growth in the Enlarged Europe: The Role of Local Innovative Capabilities, Peripherality, and Education," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(4), pages 471-507.
    8. Michael Kitson & Ron Martin & Peter Tyler, 2004. "Regional Competitiveness: An Elusive yet Key Concept?," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(9), pages 991-999.
    9. Ron Boschma, 2004. "Competitiveness of Regions from an Evolutionary Perspective," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(9), pages 1001-1014.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pio:envira:v:43:y:2011:i:5:p:1016-1034. 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: (Neil Hammond). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.