Biofuel imaginaries : the emerging politics surrounding ‘inclusive’ private sector development in Madagascar

Neimark, Benjamin David (2016) Biofuel imaginaries : the emerging politics surrounding ‘inclusive’ private sector development in Madagascar. Journal of Rural Studies, 45. pp. 146-156. ISSN 0743-0167

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Biofuels are just one of a host of bioeconomy initiatives which promise to deliver ‘inclusive’ sustainable development through innovations in bio-based products and services in the global south. Yet to critics, biofuels are seen as prime drivers in a global ‘land grab,’ rainforest clearance, and the dispossession of farmers. Responding to these concerns, firms in Madagascar have shifted production away from large plantations to small-scale production of the more ‘environmentally-friendly’ biofuel crop Jatropha curcas. Using a political ecology lens and building upon critical discourse analysis found in cultural political economy, I analyse perspectives of on the material effects and emerging politics surrounding a case of a British-biofuel start-up firm in the northwest Madagascar. I demonstrate that access to biofuel land and labour is dependent upon the inclusion of Malagasy in rural development projects. However, rather than delivering on the promises of biofuels, jatropha has largely emerged as a failed development strategy. This article examines the unaccounted for power that varied and diverse actors derive by promoting the inclusion of individuals and groups to share in benefits, and the material consequences of private sector development in the global south.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal of Rural Studies
Additional Information:
This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Rural Studies. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Rural Studies, 45, 2016 DOI: 10.1016/j.jrurstud.2016.03.012
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? cultural political economybioeconomyrural development; madagascarbiofuels political ecologydevelopmentsociology and political scienceforestrygeography, planning and development ??
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Deposited On:
30 Mar 2016 15:32
Last Modified:
16 Jul 2024 09:58