The objective of this article is to reflect on three basic questions concerning globalization and its effects on agriculture and food: what are the major characteristics of globalization? Who are its major actors? And what are the future trends? Highlighted are two primary changes that differentiate contemporary globalization from the past. Changes in the international financial system altered the relations between the state and capital and between capital and labor. They also created new forms of management and the development of new strategies from the major actors of globalization, the transnational corporations. Attention is paid to the logic and dynamics of the global actors and their relationships with the local actors, illustrated through examples concerning agro-food. To consider future trends in agriculture and food, a framework was created based on a two-scenario approach: backlash and further globalization. This framework also makes an appeal to the concepts of appropriationism and substitutionism that reflect the industrialization of agriculture, and the technological treadmill resulting from the structural dynamic induced by market competition between farmers. Finally, it is shown that globalization, as a state-led process, occurs within a highly contested and disputed arena. This means that attention must be paid to the profound gap between the rhetoric and the underlying ideology, both extremely liberal and pro-market, and the praxis that reveals a much more complex outcome. The globalizing idea, even as it is hegemonic inside the most relevant nation-states apparatus, is tempered by state pragmatism in response to the game of power relations
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