Genetically Modified Crops and Seed/Food Sovereignty in Argentina: Scales and states in the contemporary food regime

Abstract: With more than half of its arable land planted with genetically modified soybeans, Argentina presents a strategic research site to investigate contestations of intellectual property rights on seeds and the enclosure of seeds as common resources. In this contribution, we tackle Argentina as a case study to address three issues. First, we discuss the sweeping expansion of genetically modified crops to illustrate its associated role in (a) the conflicts, negotiations and accommodations of seed control and (b) the obstacles to food/seed sovereignty. Second, we inspect the spatial and class dynamics of these processes with the goal of making a contribution to the literature on food regimes. By looking at the regional dynamics within a nation, we seek to question the ‘methodological nationalism’ of the food regime perspective that, by and large, understands countries as units. Third, and linking the two previous points, we inspect the role of the state in struggles and negotiations over seed and food sovereignty at both the national and subnational scales. We argue that a multi-scalar approach on food/seed sovereignty struggles can provide further visibility to subordinated actors.