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This thesis analyses Mexican coffee policies during the administration of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO). It builds on approaches of state theories, agrarian political economy, and global value chain studies, and contributes to debates regarding the role of the state in small farmers’ livelihoods. The thesis is based on a case study analysing the implementation of rural policies in the Soconusco region of Chiapas and contains four empirical and analytical chapters. Chapter 1, “Evolution of Coffee Policies in Mexico”, addresses how the interests of the state and its mechanism of support to coffee farmers evolved from the time this crop was introduced to Mexico until the start of the AMLO administration. Chapter 2, “Incorporation of Different Types of Farmers into Different Coffee Markets”, discusses social differences among beneficiaries of rural programmes and the conditions under which different types of farmers are incorporated into the market. Chapter 3, “Arabica, Robusta, and the Narrative of Quality Coffee”, analyses collaboration and conflicts among the state, small-scale farmers, farmer organizations, and the coffee processing industry with respect to the formulation and implementation of coffee policies. It also explores the role of quality in the politics of coffee. Chapter 4, “AMLO’s Rural Programmes and Elimination of Intermediaries” discuss the achievements and weaknesses of rural programmes, paying particular attention to the AMLO administration’s strategy of bypassing farmer organizations upon providing agricultural subsidies. The aim of this thesis is to understand how a radical transformation that has been promised by the Mexican state influences social relationships among the state, small farmers, farmer organizations, and the coffee processing industry.

Seminar details

Time:  13:00 – 14:00 Central African Time (CAT)
            12:00 – 13:00 British Summer Time (BST)
            12:00 – 13:00 West African Time (WAT)
            11:00 – 12:00 Greenwich Meridian Time (GMT) (Ghana)
            14:00 – 15:00 East African Time (EAT) (Tanzania)

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