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Law and the Political Economy of Hunger$
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Anna Chadwick

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198823940

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198823940.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 18 September 2021

Food Commodity Speculation

Food Commodity Speculation

(p.79) 3 Food Commodity Speculation
Law and the Political Economy of Hunger

Anna Chadwick

Oxford University Press

Chapter 3 explores the significance of practices of ‘food commodity speculation’ in the causation of the global food crisis. After introducing some of the main instruments and actors involved in commodity derivatives trading, the chapter examines competing claims over the role of financial speculation in the global food crisis. Seeking to break the impasse that has characterized debates on this issue, the chapter probes into claims by NGOs that commodity futures markets have been ‘financialized’ in recent decades. The author draws on a body of literature from the Social Studies of Finance to argue that there is an urgent need to reconceptualize the nature of derivatives and their contribution to processes of value formation in underlying markets. The chapter concludes by signalling the emergence of a new logic of financial accumulation that has significant implications both for attempts to use financial regulation to address ‘excessive’ levels of speculation, and, more broadly, for the political economy of hunger.

Keywords:   financial speculation, commodity derivatives, food prices, causation, Social Studies of Finance, value, price

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