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Accepted Paper:

Revolutionizing the green revolution? Transforming power and resistance through digital agriculture  
Matthew Canfield (Leiden Law School) Ali Malik (Drake University)

Short abstract:

The convergence of the Green Revolution (GR) and digital agriculture is transforming agrarian relations of power. This paper examines the contemporary practices and technologies of the GR, which increasingly rely on technoscience to assetize and financialize intangibles such as data and carbon.

Long abstract:

Over the past two decades, efforts to foment a ‘second’ Green Revolution on the African Continent have led critical agrarian scholars and historians to reassess how we understand the ‘Green Revolution’ (Cullather 2010, Shiva 2016, Hurt 2020, Branski 2022). Scholars have not only challenged historical narratives that high-yielding crops and ‘magic seeds’ have significantly reduced hunger, they have also historically contextualized the Green Revolution within a longer arc of capitalist accumulation strategies, racialized forms of dominations, and reconfigurations of state power (Patel 2013, Eddens 2017). Contemporary attempts to promote a Green Revolution differ in some ways from the previous wave; Sustainability and nutrition have been incorporated into narratives of the Green Revolution and transgenic seeds have been added to the technologies introduced. But perhaps the most significant change in recent years has been the growing focus on digitalization (Abdulai 2022). The convergence of the Green Revolution and “Fourth Agricultural Revolution,” is integrating agrarian worlds into new regimes of capitalist accumulation. Building on scholarship that has emphasized the need to integrate the analytical tools of STS and political economy (Birch 2020), this paper sketches a new analytic framework for understanding the contemporary forms of power of the Green Revolution. We describe how digital technologies combine new modes of discipline and surveillance with the assetization of human and more-than-human relations. We suggest that this is fundamentally transforming the terrain of resistance for agrarian movements, which are increasingly fought over the knowledge, technoscientific devices, and infrastructures that are enabling this transformation.

Traditional Open Panel P210
Digital technologies in food and agriculture: merging STS with Critical Agrifood Studies
  Session 1