The Pork Fix: African Swine Fever and the Opportunity of Crisis in China's Pork Industry
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Mindi Schneider, Assistant Professor of Sociology of Development and Change, Wageningen University - The year 2019 left no question about the importance of pork in Chinese politics and society, and in the operation of the global food system. In the wake of a sudden and deadly African Swine Fever (ASF) epidemic that began in 2018, China, far and away the world’s leading hog producer, was suddenly short on pork. About a third of China’s national swineherd, nearly 300 million animals, perished in the span of a year. Consumer prices and inflation rose, and international pork exporters jumped at the chance fill the gaping pork holes left in the wake of the crisis. This seminar situates the ASF epidemic in ongoing capitalist industrialization of pig farming in China. It traces the rise of pork since the early 1980s as a political economic project premised on both ‘global’ and ‘local’ forces and relations, with ‘global’ and ‘local’ implications. The seminar will examine how current and past pork crises have been turned into opportunities for power and profit, not just for international exporters, but also for Chinese domestic capital and the party-state.
Video of full lecture with presentation slides edited into the video.
East Asia Program, Cornell University
history; East Asia; China; pork industry; African swine fever
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
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