Why can collective action fail in Local Agri-food Systems? A social network analysis of cheese producers in Aculco, Mexico

Vicente, Jérôme, Crespo Cepas, Juan and Requier-Desjardins, Denis (2014) Why can collective action fail in Local Agri-food Systems? A social network analysis of cheese producers in Aculco, Mexico. Food Policy (46).

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Abstract

Collective trademark and regional product qualification in food-processing industries have become a growing challenge for farmers in developing countries. This challenge is the target of collective action-based programs aiming at framing the cooperation context that would enable a local community to turn inherited resources and know-how into new market opportunities. Literature acknowledges that social capital is a crucial local resource for successful collective actions since it is a source of trust and collective commitment within a community. This paper deals with testing the role of this resource in the collective action case of the cheese producers in Aculco (Mexico). Focusing on the connectedness dimension of social capital, we propose an original methodology that relies on the multiplex and structural properties of social networks. This allows us to disentangle the opposite and ambivalent effects of social capital on the ability of a community to reach the goals assigned by the collective action program. Our empirical study shows that these critical properties can work in favor of adherence to collective action but can also create elite capture, clannish behaviors and entry barriers, thus showing a failure of collective action.

Item Type: Article
Date: 2014
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Collective action, Social capital, Social networks, Developing countries, Agri-food industry
Subjects: B- ECONOMIE ET FINANCE > B1- Généralités
Divisions: Laboratoire d'Études et de Recherches sur l'Économie, les Politiques et les Systèmes sociaux (Toulouse)
Site: IEP
Date Deposited: 19 Jun 2014 12:23
Last Modified: 26 May 2016 16:22
URI: http://publications.ut-capitole.fr/id/eprint/14839

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