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How Argentine farmers overpowered Monsanto

My article “How Argentine Farmers Overpowered Monsanto: The Mobilization of Knowledge-users and Intellectual Property Regimes” was published on the Journal of Politics in Latin America, v. 5, n. 3 (2013) and its available for free through this link. Because of this article, I was awarded an honorable mention under the Early Career Prize of the Economics & Politics Section of the Latin American Studies Association. Here are the remarks of the prize committee:

“The committee is pleased to award Honorable Mention to Felipe Amin Filomeno’s article “How Argentine Farmers Overpowered Monsanto: The Mobilization of Knowledge-users and Intellectual Property Regimes.” The article contributes to the literatures on social movements and intellectual property regimes, specifically those affecting patented soy varietals. Building on three excellent historical narratives focusing on Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay, it identifies relational elements of the broad Argentine movement against the seed company as key to the successful resistance to its claims for protection of its IP. The committee was impressed with both the article’s contemporary importance and Filomeno’s careful treatment of the parallel narratives.”

And here is the paper abstract: “Since the 1980s, governments and transnational corporations from core countries led by the United States have driven a global upward ratchet of intellectual property protection. In agriculture, this has meant strengthening the rights of seed companies over the plant varieties they develop and curtailing the rights of farmers over the seeds they cultivate. Exceptionally, from the 1990s to 2013, Argentine soy growers overcame the pressures from the seed industry, guaranteeing the right to freely save seeds of proprietary varieties from their own harvests for future cultivation. Based on a comparative historical analysis of conflicts over intellectual property on seeds in Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay from the 1990s to 2013, this study suggests that a successful mobilization of knowledge-users in struggles over intellectual property depends on (1) the organizational stability of their political representation, (2) the coordination between the organizations that represent them, (3) the existence of independent channels for the representation of knowledge-users most sensitive to royalty payments, and (4) their ability to produce a public discourse capable of drawing support from a broad coalition.”

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