Reflecting on the Plantationocene: the political economy of sugarcane plantations in Guangxi, China

Chunyu Wang, Yunan Xu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

This paper reflects on the concept of the Plantationocene through an analysis of sugarcane plantations in Guangxi province, China. It argues that although these plantations are owned and operated by local villagers, they are de facto controlled by corporations, and subject to state intervention through a ‘zoning scheme’. They are constructed and operated according to the same logic as other plantations all over the world, namely, the logic of extraction based on cheap land and labor. By demonstrating that plantations are not necessarily large-scale and do not always entail the alienation of land and labor, this paper hopes to empirically broaden the concept of the Plantationocene and to highlight the extractive nature of and the power relations around plantations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)564-585
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Peasant Studies
Volume51
Issue number3
Early online date27 Jun 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding
This work was supported by H2020 European Research Council: [Grant Number 834006].

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

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