Seeds of Power

Environmental Injustice and Genetically Modified Soybeans in Argentina

Book Pages: 224 Illustrations: 18 illustrations Published: October 2020

Environmental Studies, Latin American Studies > Southern Cone, Sociology

In 1996 Argentina adopted genetically modified (GM) soybeans as a central part of its national development strategy. Today, Argentina is the third largest global grower and exporter of GM crops. Its soybeans—which have been modified to tolerate being sprayed with herbicides—now cover half of the country's arable land and represent a third of its total exports. While soy has brought about modernization and economic growth, it has also created tremendous social and ecological harm: rural displacement, concentration of landownership, food insecurity, deforestation, violence, and the negative health effects of toxic agrochemical exposure. In Seeds of Power Amalia Leguizamón explores why Argentines largely support GM soy despite the widespread damage it creates. She reveals how agribusiness, the state,  and their allies in the media and sciences deploy narratives of economic redistribution, scientific expertise, and national identity as a way to elicit compliance among the country’s most vulnerable rural residents. In this way, Leguizamón demonstrates that GM soy operates as a tool of power to obtain consent, to legitimate injustice, and to quell potential dissent in the face of environmental and social violence.


“Clearly written and superbly argued, this fabulous book manages to accomplish that quite difficult task of engaging readers interested in the specificities of the case and those interested in larger theoretical issues. Seeds of Power is so well written that it puts readers in the different scenes, making us think about the invisible workings of power and about the ways in which we can go about detecting the daily production of political domination. Brava!” — Javier Auyero, coauthor of In Harm’s Way: The Dynamics of Urban Violence

“Making important contributions to sociology while remaining highly accessible, Seeds of Power has the potential to reach beyond the ivory tower and to teach and influence the public. It is a beautiful example of public sociology.” — Shannon Elizabeth Bell, author of Fighting King Coal: The Challenges to Micromobilization in Central Appalachia


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Price: $25.95

Open Access

Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Amalia Leguizamón is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Tulane University.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Acronyms  ix
Acknowledgments  xi
Introduction  1
1. The Roots of the Soy Model  29
2. Revolution in the Pampas  59
3. The Elephant in the Field  92
4. Against the Grain  112
Conclusion  139
Notes  151
Bibliography  177
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-1-4780-1085-2 / Cloth ISBN: 978-1-4780-0978-8