Employing sociological and economic theory, this chapter probes the role of geographical indication under the current global neoliberal agri-food regime. In particular, it reviews the primary theoretical assumptions defining the debate on GI. 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 socioeconomic development in opposing terms. The chapter underscores the differences between these two theoretical spheres. Simultaneously, it stresses the contradictions in each of these two theories. In the neoliberal camp, the support of intellectual property rights contradicts the assumption of open access to markets and the relevance of unrestricted competition in the development of the economy. In the other camp, the intervening role of the state in controlling markets promotes conditions that clash with the requirements for market expansion. The chapter offers a theoretical background intended to inform the overall discussion on GI to be carried out in the rest of the book.