chapter  7
Financialization, distance and global food politics
ByJennifer Clapp
Pages 18

Recent decades have seen phenomenal growth in the sale and purchase of financial products linked to agricultural commodities and farmland by banks, agricultural commodity trading firms and investment funds. This trend is taking place alongside a larger process of financialization within the global economy, which has seen financial markets play an increasingly important role in investment decisions and outcomes in a variety of sectors. The food studies literature is only just beginning to examine what this greater role for financial actors in the global economy means for political dynamics within the contemporary global food system (e.g. Burch and Lawrence 2009, Daniel 2012). A growing number of studies have situated financialization within the context of food regimes, showing how new financial instruments are widely used by transnational agrifood corporations as yet another mode of accumulation that further solidifies their dominant role in the global food regime (Burch and Lawrence 2009, McMichael 2012, 2013). This work has been important in developing a deeper understanding of how changing dynamics of capitalism in the global economic context drive corporate investment decisions with repercussions throughout the food system.