Geographical Indication (GI) in Agri-Food Its Role in the Neoliberal Global Era

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 15:30
Oral Presentation
Alessandro BONANNO, Sam Houston State University, USA
Through the use of sociological theory, this paper probes the role of geographical indication in the current neoliberal global agri-food system. Two broad theoretical positions are employed to construct the analysis. The first refers to the currently dominant neoliberal theory of the free market. The second refers to the variegated theoretical sphere that contemplates the political and state-based regulation of markets. These two broad theoretical postures assume differing roles for geographical indication as they view socio-economic development in opposing terms. The paper underscores the differences between these two theoretical spheres. Simultaneously, it stresses the contradictions existing in each of these two theories. The support of intellectual property rights in the neoliberal camps contradicts the tenets of open entrance to markets and the positive effect that competition generates in the economy. The intervening role of the state in controlling markets promotes conditions that ultimately clashes with requirements for market expansion. The overall role of GI in terms of socio-economic development is reviews in the concluding portion of the paper.