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From organized to disorganized capitalism? Market versus nonmarket coordination in Spain's dairy chain

Collantes, Fernando
Journal of agrarian change 2019 v.19 no.2 pp. 295-318
capitalism, dairy industry, markets, politics, Spain
Conventional wisdom has it that the food economy has transitioned from organized to disorganized capitalism. An era of extensive state intervention between around 1930 and 1980 would have been followed by an era of deregulation and increasing coordination through markets after around 1980. This article uses the case of Spain's dairy chain to propose an alternative view. In the case under study, there certainly were elements of state‐coordinated capitalism between 1952 and 1986, as well as elements of deregulation and liberalization from 1986 onwards. However, the structure of economic coordination involved some combination of market and nonmarket mechanisms all the way through. The organized capitalism of the first period was not really so tightly organized, whereas much of its later “disorganization” was in fact a transition towards a different mode of “organization”: one in which the control of nonmarket coordination shifted from political to corporate hierarchies.