From the outside, it appears that the government of President Rafael Correa in Ecuador has put in place a legal and policy framework for a vía campesina model of rural development, inspired by food sovereignty and buen vivir. Recent studies have, however, concluded that a considerable disjuncture exists between this framework and the actual agricultural policies and programmes implemented by the government. In this paper, I provide a broad overview of the agricultural and rural development policies under the Correa government and analyse some of the causes of the gap between the policy framework and policy implementation. I argue that Ecuador under Correa speaks to the difficulties of reconciling a vía campesina approach to rural development with a neo-developmental economic model. I focus on several issues in particular in order to explain the disjuncture: how the growth of “vía campesina” proposals and political discourse in Ecuador since the 1980s coincided with significant processes of agrarian change; the transformation of rural social movement federations from a sociopolitical force into a political/electoral force and the subsequent decline of these movements; and the deepening integration of small-scale producers into domestic agribusiness commodity chains and the growth of national agribusiness firms during the Correa government.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Ecuador, food sovereignty, peasant essentialism, rural social movements, the state
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1111/joac.12203
Journal Journal of Agrarian Change
Citation
Clark, P. (Patrick). (2017). Neo-developmentalism and a “vía campesina” for rural development: Unreconciled projects in Ecuador's Citizen's Revolution. Journal of Agrarian Change, 17(2), 348–364. doi:10.1111/joac.12203