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Transnational linkages, social capital and sustainable livelihood security: Organic agriculture in Baja California (Mexico).


This study examines the effects of participation in transnational markets for agricultural products on small producers in the countries of the global south. Bringing to bear ideas from the literatures on global commodity chains, contract farming, cooperatives, organic agriculture, social capital and sustainable development, it examines how markets are socially and politically constructed and how social and cultural structures mediate both the evolution of markets themselves and their effects on producer communities. It concludes that communities of small producers can benefit from participation in transnational markets, but that the construction of both transnational market relations and local community ties that will enable such beneficial results is a difficult and uncertain process, whose success depends on a conjuncture of circumstances that is highly unusual in the contemporary world.