New Publication by Robin Thiers: Flying bananas: small producer tactics and the (un)making of Philippine banana export chains.


Global production network (GPN) analysts argue that workers actively contribute to the shaping of GPNs through different forms of agency. In this contribution I extend this argument to the tactical agency of small producers. By focusing on the phenomenon of side-selling among Filipino banana contract farmers, I show that these tactics have contributed to the emergence of alternative trade networks that undermined traditional lead firm behaviour and inspired new struggles over chain governance. However, as a diverse and ambiguous group of growers engages in this tactical agency, predominantly as small capital, they also contribute to the continuation of broader dynamics of capital accumulation and labour exploitation.

Published in the Journal of Peasant Studies.