State and commodity regions: the production of the "salmon" region – paths and trajectories toward territorial control and extractive landscapes.

Authors: Beatriz Bustos*, Universidad de Chile
Topics: Resources, Latin America, Natural Resources
Keywords: Commodity regions, Latin America, Salmon industry, neo extractivism
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/10/2018
Start / End Time: 4:40 PM / 6:20 PM
Room: Gallier A, Sheraton, 4th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


During the last years, the Los Lagos region in southern Chile has experienced complex moments due to constant crises affecting the production of the salmon industry, which has affected the regional community in various ways (labor, political conflict, ecological degradation). Although the focus of attention has been on the industry-community relationship, this paper takes a long-term view to understand the processes and policies implemented by the State that led to the configuration of Los Lagos as a salmon region, considering the institutional structures, visions of nature and other mechanisms of political economy that played a role in building the current scenario. The argument is that, although the State project has historically targeted territorial control for the benefit of accumulation, the recurrence of ecological crises associated with salmon production, over the past decade of neoliberal dominion, and the consequential social upheaval, have force the state to reframe its strategy to legitimize the landscape of commodity regions into the future, in other ways, change, in order to remain the same. By looking at the case, the paper expects to identify current state strategies in times of global neo extractivism politics in Latin America.

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