Agrarian winners of neoliberal reform: The 'Maize Boom' of Sinaloa, Mexico

Hallie Eakin, Julia C. Bausch, Stuart Sweeney

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    31 Scopus citations


    While the detrimental impact of neoliberal policy on Mexico's maize smallholders is well researched, little attention has been paid to the rise of maize in the northern state of Sinaloa. Sinaloa's entry into maize has restructured the geography of national supply, and generated a new national confidence in white maize self-sufficiency. Using semi-structured interviews and secondary data, we document the primary social and political drivers of Sinaloa's maize boom. Local actors trumpet Sinaloa's response as a success story of entrepreneurship and technological innovation, while simultaneously appropriating the language of food sovereignty to justify preferential entitlements in public investment. Our analysis confirms interpretations of neoliberalism as a political project, illustrating how existing natural, social and political capital held by specific interest groups can be leveraged and reinforced through private-public partnerships to mould national policy and investment, and the potential vulnerabilities that may emerge from this process.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)26-51
    Number of pages26
    JournalJournal of Agrarian Change
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Jan 2014


    • Agriculture
    • Maize
    • Mexico
    • Neoliberalism

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Global and Planetary Change
    • Archaeology
    • Anthropology
    • Archaeology


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