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Greening the revolution revisited - Farmers, NGOs and the Cuban state

Blaufuss, Kathrin (2006) Greening the revolution revisited - Farmers, NGOs and the Cuban state. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



In this thesis I revisit the acclaimed transformation towards organic agriculture in Cuba. Using Lefebvre's trialectics of space, I explore how dominant representations of Organic' agricultural space in Cuba, the so-called 'Greening of the Revolution’, was created through government institutions and public policy. I further investigate the locally lived gendered realities of farmers in a selected cooperative. I argue that the prevailing imaginary of a state-led nationwide transformation needs to be deconstructed and the role of NGOs, in particular Northern NGOs, to be fully acknowledged in the creation of 'organic' agriculture in Cuba. Northern NGOs were attracted by the romanticist environmental imagery of Cuba’s green agriculture. เท securing funding from donors, they have framed agr๐-ecology in Cuba according to their own understandings as well as needs of 'logframes', budget codes and project cycles. Northern NGOs are acting as transmission belts for Western understandings of NGO characteristics and agency. This has resulted in a re-shaping and positioning of Cuban NGO identity, creating new dependencies and tensions in the process and introducing fashionable themes, such as gender. 'Gender mainstreaming' is an outsider-driven process, as donors and Northern NGOs have requested the integration of gender into projects. Their practices neither go beyond the 'incorporation of women in the workforce', nor engage sufficiently with the gendered realities of the everyday, as I show in my case-study in a cooperative. Farmers are performing, negotiating or at times resisting the dominant 'representations of space' - i.e. the state, regulations and policies, but also - increasingly - NGO discourses and agendas/frameworks. This thesis employs empirical data collected during 10-months of research in Cuba.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:2006
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:09 Sep 2011 09:53

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