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.

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Keywords Ecuador, food sovereignty, peasant essentialism, rural social movements, the state
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Journal Journal of Agrarian Change
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