In this paper, we apply Polanyi's double movement to characterize the potential and observed impacts of public-private and public-philanthropic partnerships for the development of pro-poor value chains. We highlight the contradiction between the goals of these partnerships in international agricultural development, which seek to shift power dynamics and counter market exclusion, and the internal logic of these hybrid governance approaches, which reflect the tensions of market society from which they come. We present case studies from Honduras, Peru, and Mali of agricultural public-private and public-philanthropic partnerships and their constituent actors, identifying roles and relationships among actors that personify double movement negotiations within pro-poor market-oriented development. The cases highlight the implications for civil society actors of hybrid governance systems that utilize market mechanisms to address the destructive tendencies of capitalist development. We conclude that partnerships characterized by a mismatch of responsibilities and power relations among civil society and private actors generate a new type of double movement that does not generate durable institutions and that limits the impacts of the partnerships for poor farmers.
Contemporary approaches to international development that focus on “making markets work for the poor” are increasingly common in agriculture and many other fields of international development (Abdulsamad, Stokes, and Gereffi 2015; Hellin, Lundy, and Meijer 2009; Horton 2008). The term pro-poor reflects the recent trend to couple competitive economic opportunities with greater social equity and to engage nontraditional actors in economic development (Besley and Cord 2007). To buffer against the exploitative tendencies of the contemporary market system, partnerships among private, state, and civil society actors are pursued ostensibly to diffuse the power embedded in market relations and enhance the transparency, accountability, and inclusivity of value chains (Brinkerhoff and Brinkerhoff 2011; Fuchs, Kalfagiani, and Havinga 2011; Pattberg and Widerberg 2015; Tallontire 2007). While some view these multistakeholder partnerships as an important evolution in market relations to improve conditions for the poor, others assess them as the latest expression of the failure of neoliberalism and self-regulating markets to address the social problems they create (Bäckstrand 2006; Bitzer 2012; Schäferhoff, Campe, and Kaan 2009).
An increasing focus on understanding the relationships within and impacts of pro-poor market-oriented development approaches has shown that they are complex, full of contestations and negotiations, and thus require theoretical framing to characterize their emergence and impacts (Abdulsamad et al. 2015; Mutersbaugh et al. 2005; Schäferhoff et al. 2009). We respond to this need by drawing on political economy, and in particular Polanyi's notion of the double movement, as well as governance theory, to analyze the process and initial outcomes of three pro-poor agricultural value chain development projects in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa. In the first half of the paper, we review the Polanyian observation of double movement as a negotiation among public and private actors that can lead to institutional arrangements that limit market logic from encroaching on noneconomic social values (Polanyi  1971). We draw from the literature on governance and hybridity to identify and further characterize the reactionary aspect of the double movement that responds to, and yet works within, the logic of contemporary neoliberalism. We then identify several types of double movement in the context of international agricultural development and focus on public-private and public-philanthropic partnerships (PPPs) between civil society and private actors to establish pro-poor value chains as manifestations of these recently emerging governance arrangements. We characterize these PPPs as hybrid governance arrangements that represent a new type of twenty-first-century double movement that is engaged with local actors and issues, yet unlikely to buffer the negative impacts of capitalist development over the long term. The application of these theories to contemporary empirical cases helps explain the ambiguous outcomes and unintended consequences of these partnerships for both the public partners and the marginalized producers for whom pro-poor value chains ostensibly work.
We apply theoretical conceptualizations of double movement and governance to examples of pro-poor agricultural development projects in Honduras, Peru, and Mali. Each case includes a PPP (led by Walmart, PepsiCo, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation [BMGF], respectively), and in each case the public actors are nongovernmental civil society organizations operating at the local, regional, or international scale. These public partners enact the double movement in relation to private economic or philanthropic partners and negotiate the resultant tensions. In each case, we identify the roles and relationships among actors within partnerships that exemplify double movement to facilitate pro-poor market-oriented development. These examples across geographic spaces highlight the role that nonstate public actors play in the contemporary international development field, which is committed to market-oriented development and yet recognizes the limitations and externalities of the neoliberal project of the past two decades. On the basis of our analysis, we conclude by arguing that the mismatch of responsibilities and power relations in PPPs in these specific case studies characterizes a new type of double movement that does not generate durable institutions because of the relational imbalance of the partnerships. At the same time, this failing also limits commodification of the land and labor of those for whom the development process is supposed to work. Together, these conclusions complicate the claims that PPPs are a consistent pathway to making markets inclusive, transparent, equitable, and pro-poor.
DOUBLE MOVEMENT AND GOVERNANCE IN NEOLIBERAL CAPITALISM
The seminal work of Karl Polanyi, The Great Transformation, emerged from the historical moment of contested economic and political ideology before and during World War II. His analysis of the profound changes to global economic and political systems in the early twentieth century provided key insights into the negotiations and institutions required to maintain the supposedly “free” market system. Polanyi indicted (capitalist) market society as the cause of the social chaos that had enveloped the world during the first half of the twentieth century. Social unrest and world wars were the (unintended) outcome of economic policies that reflected the liberal assumption that government intervention needed to be restricted so that the self-regulating market could function properly (i.e., with complete efficiency). For Polanyi, this line of reasoning was premised on a fallacy, since it was government policy itself that had institutionalized and maintained the existence of a free market society (Polanyi  1971). As Block (2003) notes, Polanyi identified the key paradox necessary to perpetuate the capitalist market system: “Market societies must construct elaborate rules and institutional structures to limit the individual pursuit of gain or risk degenerating into a Hobbesian war of all against all. … In summary, the economy has to be embedded in law, politics, and morality” (Block 2003:297). From these observations emerged the Polanyian principle of double movement: the economic activities that capitalism disembeds from social and political institutions must always be re-embedded into those institutions in order to maintain the social and environmental resource bases needed for the market system to function (Block 2003; Castree 2008). However, in the contemporary neoliberal context, the institutions and relationships that seek to re-embed market relations in the social milieu reflect an orientation toward governance that enjoins all actors—state, private, and civil society alike—to take market logic as a necessary starting point rather than as a force to be buffered (Sending and Neumann 2006).
Double Movement as Market Society Dialectic
Polanyi's ( 1971) basic starting point is that “the concept of the self-regulating market was utopian, and its progress was stopped by the realistic self-protection of society” (p. 141). This impetus toward self-protection first took the form of strong government institutions and regulation at the start of the Industrial Revolution. Later, in the nineteenth century, it came from “collectivist” social movements like labor unions and production cooperatives, which sought to resist the disembedding forces of the market through social organizing. From a theoretical point of view, disembedding refers to the institutional mechanisms necessary to turn labor and land into fictitious commodities. According to Block (2003), conceptualizing disembeddedness in this way helps clarify and extend Polanyi's notion of double movement as a market dialectic, one in which the commodification logic of pure market capitalism is always met with a “counter-tendency” to re-embed economic activities in social and political relationships and institutions. The irony of the double movement, as Polanyi ( 1971) and later others (Block 2003; Burawoy 2003) identify, is that the dialectical response to normative failings in the market system creates institutional changes that respond to specific failings, thereby making the whole system more palatable. The double movement, as a reaction to the negative dimensions of the capitalist system, is in fact critical for the perpetuation of the market economy.
Double movement as a dialectic redefines the dichotomous characterization of economic systems as either precapitalistic economies embedded in social relations or disembedded capitalistic systems. Further, the concept can be used to understand both the regulatory responses to and the basic maintenance of the capitalist system over time (Block 2003). As Castree (2008) notes, the defining boundaries of the capitalist market economic system are conceptually clear but functionally always changing in response to the very social and political dynamics that constitute the double movement. Double movement both restrains (re-embeds) and maintains (disembeds) the market system, as can be seen most apparently in the role of the state in modern economic systems. Put another way, the double movement “is not a self-correcting mechanism which moderates the excesses of market fundamentalism but a contradiction in the Marxian sense of the word” (Levitt 2003:5). This contradiction is reflected most clearly in the role that the state plays in both limiting and facilitating the contemporary neoliberal economic system.
Although Polanyi predated the move toward neoliberal economics, his writings anticipated the requirement for institutional facilitation of the free market inherent in a market society. Polanyi wrote at a time in Western history, during the 1930s and 1940s, that provided much fodder for analyzing the evolution of the capitalist market economic system at national and global scales. Similar patterns of double movement can be seen as well as the historical and contemporary record moves forward. For example, Keynesianism in the 1940s and 1950s responded to neoclassical failings through a social sentiment that prioritized social safety nets and equitable distribution of the accumulation of capital, as well as a strong role for the US government in industrial and trade policy (see Silver and Arrighi 2003). More recently, the double movement helps make sense of the contemporary national and international regulations that seek to minimize the inequalities and externalities of expanding market systems within market societies, especially as the locus of governance in neoliberal capitalism has shifted from state-based regulations toward private and supranational organizations (Evans 2015; Friedmann 2005; McCarthy 2004).
Neoliberalism, Hybridity, and Governance Processes
The ambiguous relationships between state, market, and society are key to contemporary questions of double movement and governance and have been consistently at the heart of critiques of neoliberalism (Bartley 2007; Block 2003; Busch 2010; McCarthy and Prudham 2004). We define neoliberalism here with an eye to the Polanyian focus on the social and organizational forms that reflect economic arrangements, to mean the economic and political orientation that prioritizes the free and efficient functioning of markets and private property rights that commodify land and labor (among other forms of capital) (Block 2003; Burawoy 2003). Social values are embedded within and limited by the logic of the free market, and the internal functioning of the market system is disembedded from nonrational and nonexploitative social values (for discussion of forms of neoliberalism, see McCarthy and Prudham 2004). The neoliberal state contributes to this disembedding through policies that facilitate rather than regulate private economic activity. Out of the changing relationships that shape and enable particular forms of economic activity come theories of governance—“the processes by which power is exercised in society” (Foucault  2011; Tallontire 2007:776). Hybrid governance theories in particular focus on the negotiations among state, market, and society for power to identify societal problems and define solutions (Higgins and Lockie 2002; Sending and Neumann 2006).
Development theorists highlight the possibility for hybrid governance to shift power relationships among actors to collectively govern market relations and limit the neoliberal tendency of private firms to accumulate capital by shifting the risks and costs of regulation onto state and civil society actors (for a few examples, see Bloom 2014; Hatanaka, Bain, and Busch 2005). Civil society is defined here as the “third” sector of organizations that represent societal (public) concerns and are distinct from state or private actors—they include national and international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) as well as social and grassroots movements (Edwards 2009; Ford 2003). The stated goal of including civil society actors and their constituents’ concerns into hybrid governance systems in international development has been to increase the legitimacy and accountability of the regulations developed by these partnerships (Bäckstrand 2006; Higgins and Lockie 2002). In contrast, environmental sociologists and others argue that in the neoliberal era hybridity in governance systems has given way to a default governmentality that assumes a market logic for the roles and functions of states and civil society actors (Bartley 2007; Ford 2003; Sending and Neumann 2006). In some cases, civil society is pushed by states to acquiesce to market-oriented development even at the risk of compromising organizational and social goals (Bartley 2007). In other cases, the private sector has consolidated and concentrated its control over international supply chains by developing its own governance mechanisms, which are often implemented by state and civil society actors. For example, ethical and ecologically sound certifications have emerged as common managers of economic relations and social conditions of production, and such certifications are often created with the input and participation of national governments (Bitzer 2012; Busch and Bain 2004; Fuchs et al. 2011; Guthman 2007). In either case, whether compelled by the state or private actors, the actions of the civil society sector are informed by the goals of a free market.
Whether analyzed as hybrid governance or neoliberal governmentality, relationships between private firms and civil society organizations are often characterized by huge mismatches in financial and rhetorical power. Despite the theoretical assumption that these governance schemes diffuse power, it can be difficult for civil society actors to hold firms accountable to compromises that reflect the double movement without concurrent state regulation. The rise of PPPs in the neoliberal era, in which the power of the state is politically aligned with market-oriented private actors rather than with civil society actors, leaves little chance for partnerships that could institutionalize the initial re-embedding that occurs through double movement. Institutionalization here means the creation of enforceable social structures that buffer economic logic and in which economic activity is embedded. Institutionalization requires stability in the relationships among the actors that are negotiating the bounds of economic activity and reflects the dynamic nature of the double movement. In Polanyi's words, the idea of economic systems as an instituted process of decision making about values and goals requires durable institutions that can enforce the negotiated bounds on economic activity. In contrast, a critical reading of contemporary governance approaches in international development in general and PPPs in particular suggests that the terms on which state and civil society actors engage with governance of market processes can facilitate accumulation for private firms through the disembedding of agricultural production from social and natural contexts.
DOUBLE MOVEMENT IN INTERNATIONAL AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT
Social movements, corporate social responsibility (CSR), and PPPs all represent forms of the double movement in international development, with varying governance structures and potential for institutionalization within nation-state or global institutions. Social movements are societal responses to deficiencies or negative impacts of some aspect of the sociopolitical and economic systems. McCarthy's (2005) and Kloppenburg's (2010) discussions of movements to protect environmental and biological commons, in the form of institutional arrangements like open-source patents for plant varieties and sustainable forestry certifications, provide contemporary examples of double movements that work to engage the market structures they critique in order to reform them. Busch and Bain (2004) note that agri-food social movements (representing societal concerns about the impacts of globalization) are also increasingly demanding that the actions of private firms limit the negative impacts of the market system. And with the rise of a global neoliberal system and global governance structures, some of these social double movements have become transnational out of necessity. One prominent example is Vía Campesina, a food sovereignty organization that targets the global market and governance structures that generate common negative externalities across regions (Borras, Edelman, and Kay 2008; Desmarais 2008). Holt-Giménez and Shattuck (2011) describe the rise of food sovereignty as a double movement within a food regime that is itself a state-market complex that governs the food system (see Friedmann 2005 for a discussion of food regime theory and social movements). As the food sovereignty movement has gained strength and legitimacy, its inclusion in international governing structures like the United Nations Committee on Food Security has helped to institutionalize its role in global governance systems.
Corporations have taken note of growing popular concern over the provenance and conditions of production and exchange of the goods that they sell. As a result, most major transnational corporations have developed some type of CSR initiative. CSR “refers to corporate actions that focus on enhancing stakeholder relations while aiming at enhancing social welfare” (Gond, Kang, and Moon 2011:643). CSR is seen as a mechanism that provides corporations the opportunity to address the social and environmental impacts of their business practices along the supply chain in order to appease increasing consumer interest in these issues and thus maintain their competitiveness (Bitzer 2012; Gond et al. 2011; Tallontire 2007). In other words, corporations self-govern by incorporating social movement critiques into their existing business practices, thus diffusing any transformational potential while still performing an act of double movement that attempts to recognize and mitigate the negative effects of the market (Constance and Bonanno 2000; Guthman 2007). A popular example of agri-food CSR policies is Starbucks, which has developed internal fair trade standards and monitoring systems to promote positive community impacts and environmental sustainability through their sourcing practices (Argenti 2004). CSR and related self-governance approaches by private firms are, as Guthman (2007) concludes, a form of neoliberal double movement, one in which limits on market logic are undertaken only by firms and only when such limits lead to overall increases in profit and margins.
Social movements and CSR initiatives have been successful at institutionalizing specific checks on the logic of the market system within the context of national, international, and private-sector governance and have been analyzed through the double movement lens as being institutionalized precisely because they draw on market society logic and relationships. PPPs have emerged in part to facilitate the implementation of CSR initiatives on the ground, and they often do so by bringing the credibility and assumed neutrality of state and civil society organizations to what may otherwise be critiqued as corporate self-interest (Schäferhoff et al. 2009). In their summary of the history of PPPs, Abdulsamad et al. (2015) argue that with the increased and increasingly outsized role that private capital and global markets have played in international economic development over the past 15 years, international aid donors have promoted PPPs as a response to the failure of markets to redistribute value within production networks and limit negative externalities. At the same time, they note that very few studies look at the instrumental impacts of PPPs on poverty and the delivery of social benefits and that even fewer assess the institutional and relational contexts the PPPs operate within and seek to change. Abdulsamad et al. (2015) conclude that the positive externalities generated by pro-poor value chains of increased income and well-being for smallholder farmers depend in large part on the bargaining power and “organizational capacity” that those farmers have in the form of participation in a civil society or national (state) organization. This capacity to negotiate is necessary because of the inherent mismatch in motivations between for-profit private firms and actors working in the interest of poor and marginalized individuals and households, but the requisite compromises affect both the material and institutional impacts of PPPs. Given that civil society and state actors are often complicit in the neoliberal agenda, as discussed above, the transformational potential of these negotiations must be further called into question.
Similar trends have occurred in the ways that other public sector actors have adapted to changing market conditions. For example, Brooks (2011) describes the shift in research agendas and diffusion activities toward market-oriented plant breeding that has occurred in international public organizations like the CGIAR Consortium (formerly the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research) as it has increasingly entered into public-private partnerships to fund agricultural research. There has also been a more recent, corollary move toward public-philanthropic partnerships in international agricultural research for development. Again centered at the CGIAR centers, which since 2005 have received 20 to 30 percent of their overall budget from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), these public-philanthropic partnerships are increasingly gaining attention from critical development scholars interested in understanding the impacts of such outsized financial and rhetorical influence in agricultural development, especially in sub-Saharan Africa (Bartley 2007; Schurman 2011). Although philanthropies are by definition not-for-profit entities with no direct market role, we argue that large philanthropies are indeed market actors in the marketplace for agricultural development. The internal logic of research and programming funded by BMGF sets the terms for partnerships. These terms are both financial, which comes from the neoliberal frame that focuses on efficient returns on investment, and rhetorical, in that the BMGF and related philanthropic organizations are setting a narrative about the new Green Revolution for Africa (see, for example, Toenniessen, Adesina, and DeVries 2008). Brooks et al. (2009) describe the approach of the BMGF as one of venture philanthropy, with the goal of investment being the identification of “silver bullet” strategies that can be scaled up to address grand development challenges and a theory of change that blends “the values and contributions of different sectors, so that the Foundation's traditional role of ‘correcting for’ the market is transformed to one of ‘connecting to’ the market” (Brooks et al. 2009:4, emphasis in original; see also Scoones and Thompson 2011).
We argue that the hybrid governance of goals, finances, and responsibilities in certain types of PPPs for international development represents a new type of twenty-first-century double movement that is both more responsive to specific contexts than PPPs between states and private firms and less likely to be institutionalized over the long term than those connected to state institutions. The mismatch comes from a difference of intention and internal logic between nongovernmental public actors and private actors. Public actors in PPPs are interested in adjusting market mechanisms to reflect social values that are not accounted for when private actors alone define the terms of market interactions. Engaging with market mechanisms through PPPs is for public actors a pragmatic attempt at double movement to generate outcomes that are beneficial for both their constituents and the private actors. Private actors, however, continue to be guided by the logic of economic efficiency and rationality. And public state actors, to the extent that they participate in these PPPs, align their financial and rhetorical support with a late-stage neoliberalism that does not question the internal logic of the markets that they are trying to make work for the poor. The power imbalances in PPPs that are composed of public (civil society) actors with relatively limited financial and political capital, and private actors that are hegemonic in their particular market space, mean that PPPs that supposedly pursue international development often reinforce the dominant role of the private firm in neoliberal hybrid governance arrangements rather than embody any durable re-embedding process.
CASES OF PPPS: HONDURAS, PERU, AND MALI
In the following three cases, we apply concepts of double movement and hybrid governance to characterize the relationships and institutions that constitute PPPs in the realm of international agricultural development, as well as the potential for these partnerships to re-embed value chains in specific social systems. Comparing and contrasting three cases that have similar outcomes but differ in context and process of the respective PPPs provides the opportunity to identify common elements that reflect and deepen the theoretical arguments made in this paper. Each case represents the primary research of one of the three authors of this paper. The data in all three cases were gathered as part of fieldwork for broader research projects that looked at the impacts for farmers and local organizations of specific development projects. Fieldwork was conducted in central/eastern and western Honduras over the course of four months in 2012, in the central highlands of Peru over nine months in 2013, and in southern Mali over two four-month periods in 2011 and 2012. All data presented here are qualitative and were the result of interviews with actors across the specific value chain being described and participant observation of value chain activities. Interviews and field notes were coded using thematic analysis specific to each research project.
In 2005, Walmart became the largest supermarket retailer in Central America; in the same year, the company announced its new focus on sustainability as a key competitive strategy driving its CSR efforts (Esty and Winston 2006; Gonzalez-Vega et al. 2006). Walmart's sustainability goals for emerging markets such as Central America were created in 2010 and include three major focal areas: selling goods sourced from small and medium-sized farmers, training farmers and farmworkers, and increasing incomes of farmers by at least 10 percent (Walmart 2015). In Honduras, Walmart operates two chains, one that is upperscale and concentrated in urban areas (Paíz) and one that is lower scale and located in rural areas across the country (Dispensa Familiar). Similarly, its purchasing from small-scale farmers is dispersed across the country, though concentrated where foreign aid projects operate, and for this case study was explored specifically in the central/eastern and western regions.
Walmart's local sourcing in emerging markets is made possible through hybrid governance in the form of public/private partnerships. In Honduras, the corporation has had public/private partnerships with both the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Millenium Challenge Corporation (USAID 2009). These PPPs functioned by recruiting local NGOs to provide the training and market relationships that small-scale growers need in order to meet Walmart's quality requirements and therefore to be able to access this market (Bloom 2014; Michelson 2013). The case of Walmart in Honduras fits into a renewed emphasis for both supermarkets and the development community of focusing on domestic supply chains within developing countries. While the development community promoted national agricultural self-sufficiency after World War II, by the 1980s emphasis had shifted to connecting producers with transnational supply chains (Boyer 2010; Imbruce 2008). In Honduras, export-oriented development strategies that began in the 1980s encouraged nontraditional crop production and were supported by national policies that integrated mid- and large-scale producers into transnational supermarket supply chains, while displacing many smaller-scale producers (Boyer 2010; Edelman 2008; Imbruce 2008). These policies resulted in a decrease in production of basic grain crops for domestic consumption, leaving the country dependent on food imports from other countries (Boyer 2010; Stonich 1991). The recent shift back toward domestic sourcing for national markets by supermarkets and development organizations presents an opportunity to counter this trend and to re-embed agricultural production in local social and ecological contexts. For example, rather than focusing on nontraditional crops, such as Asian vegetables or shrimp (production of which was encouraged by export companies and the national government, respectively), Walmart is encouraging production of horticultural crops, including cucumbers, tomatoes, and cabbage (Imbruce 2008; Sanders, Ramírez, and Morazán 2006). While these crops are still nontraditional compared to basic grains, they are the same as those found in domestic traditional markets for local consumption.
Domestic sourcing in emerging markets also has clear ideological connections with the food sovereignty movement, as exemplified by Vía Campesina, which was headquartered in Honduras from 1996 to 2004 (Boyer 2010; Edelman 2008); however, food sovereignty is never directly mentioned in any of Walmart's CSR documents. Instead, Walmart's local sourcing is explicitly framed as a market opportunity for farmers, and many farmers and NGO representatives in this research saw strengthening domestic markets as a stepping-stone to improving the export sector, a view that is often shared in the literature on this topic (Gonzalez-Vega et al. 2006). In interviews, representatives from local NGOs noted that they often support the formation of producer associations that aggregate, grade, and distribute produce from several small-scale growers in order to mimic the economies of scale of larger-scale growers and to increase market access (Bloom 2014). While this model is similar to agricultural cooperatives, which have been described as alternative economic models that provide positive benefits to producers within the double movement, producers’ associations are distinct from cooperatives in that they are less focused on producer ownership and balancing out power asymmetries and more focused on market access. In addition, the NGOs in this case study often end up mediating the relationship between Walmart and individual growers, including establishing prices and enforcing quality standards (Bloom 2014). Since supermarkets such as Walmart have stricter quality expectations for produce than traditional local markets, the research done in this case study suggested that enforcing these standards can sometimes lead to the exclusion of the same small-scale growers that Walmart's CSR program aims to include, a finding that is supported by similar research in this field (Bitzer 2012; Bloom 2015; Michelson 2013). NGOs that represent the interests of smallholder farmers therefore face a tension between the double movement goal of re-embedding the market relationship in local social priorities and the context of the PPP governance system, which requires that they perpetuate the disembedding tendencies of capitalist market relationships. Despite these challenges, the PPP model between Walmart and USAID in Central America has been deemed so successful that USAID has expanded it to other countries, such as Bangladesh and Rwanda, in part through donations from the Walmart Foundation to on-the-ground NGO partners in these countries (USAID 2014).
Beginning in 1998, the International Potato Center (CIP), a member of the CGIAR Consortium, identified PPPs and the inclusion of civil society actors in hybrid governance of these partnerships as a mechanism to stimulate market demand for the native potato varieties typically cultivated by smallholders in the highlands. Native potato varieties are historically embedded in the social, cultural, and economic systems of rural communities in the Peruvian highlands. Potatoes serve multiple roles for smallholders: they are a primary staple crop; their genetic diversity buffers against weather and pest risks; they are embedded in rituals and constitute a primary component of an ideal Andean livelihood that values vertical access to land, the cultivation of diverse crops, and consumption satisfaction; and their production has traditionally encouraged reciprocity and cooperation within communities (Mayer 2001; Thiele 1999; Zimmerer 1996). Although native varieties contain an array of noneconomic values, smallholders have long produced varieties for both home consumption and the market and have distributed their yields across their needs for seed, subsistence, and capital (Brush 1992; Mayer 2001; Zimmerer 1996). As smallholders have continued their mixed subsistence and commercial production, unfavorable production and market conditions have made it difficult for them to capitalize on the strong economic growth that has occurred nationally (Meinzen-Dick, Devaux, and Antezana 2009).
Working with civil society as well as public and private partners, CIP helped conduct a national campaign to build awareness of the social and cultural importance of native potatoes among consumers, and PPPs were developed to create market niches for the native varieties of smallholders in high-value markets (Ordinola et al. 2011; Thomann et al. 2011). In 2007, PepsiCo, the parent organization of Frito-Lay, opted into “pro-poor” value chain development in Peru. Encouraged by its previous experience of purchasing a single potato variety for frying into potato chips from medium- and large-scale producers in the highlands, PepsiCo identified market potential in processing colored potato chips from varieties managed by smallholders in the highlands. Although ostensibly operating under the umbrella of pro-poor value chain development, PepsiCo cloaked their activities with native potato value chains in more traditional economic rhetoric of product development. As a PepsiCo executive indicated, the company was more concerned with developing the entrepreneurial spirit among smallholders than engaging in development work or pursuing social responsibility initiatives. Thus, in contemporary double movement fashion, PepsiCo engaged in markets that are more inclusive in the sense that they are accessible to smallholders previously excluded, but in ways that eschew social values and instead pursue purely economic objectives.
To overcome production deficiencies and transaction costs, a national NGO focused on economic development and social justice entered as a partner, helping to both facilitate market relationships and provide technical support to smallholders. To address the constraints of production scale among smallholders, the NGO worked only with farmer associations to aggregate the products of a collection of smallholders. The NGO's role as an active player in the hybrid governance scheme could be most clearly identified through its self-identification as a representative to the farmer associations. In fact, the NGO negotiated conditions on behalf of the farmer associations and was the entity that entered into the legal contract with PepsiCo. As a result of this PPP, Lay's Andinas, a potato chip line of colored, native varieties supplied by smallholder associations, emerged. Cultural symbolism was embedded throughout the product: the native varieties, the link to the Andes in the name, and imagery of traditional crafts common among indigenous communities in the highlands on the potato chip bag. While the branding embedded the social and cultural components of the product in consumer consciousness, the market requirements to which smallholders had to adhere had a disembedding effect on their production. Though smallholders have long mixed their subsistence and commercial potato production, the varieties produced for PepsiCo were ideal for frying and were not as satisfying boiled, the preferred traditional method of preparation. The varieties produced for PepsiCo were viewed by smallholders as exclusively commercial, which became problematic when they struggled to adhere to the quality requirements and experienced common rejections by PepsiCo of their potato deliveries.
The challenges that both the smallholders and PepsiCo confronted had perhaps the most apparent effect on the national NGO, which initially conceptualized their engagement in the value chain as adhering to their social justice mission. However, the NGO found itself in a vulnerable position, fearing legal ramifications for not fulfilling the contract it had signed with PepsiCo and receiving criticism from smallholders for failing to provide sufficient outreach. Disproportionate power among actors could be evidenced by the unpredictability from year to year as to whether the PepsiCo market outlet would even exist for smallholders. After two years of purchasing native varieties from farmer associations, PepsiCo suspended the contract for the 2010–11 season to reevaluate its processing for this chip line but did not inform the NGO until months after the potato planting typically begins, leaving farmers who had already planted without any viable market option. Although the relationship was reinitiated for the 2011–12 season, farmers struggled to produce acceptable potatoes, successfully delivering only 20 percent of the tonnage that had been contracted. As the difficulties across the value chain became increasingly pronounced, it became less viable before the partnership with PepsiCo was altogether terminated after the 2011–12 season. As the NGO attempted to integrate the market demands of a transnational corporation and the natural and sociocultural diversity of local contexts, the tensions inherent in hybrid governance for such a market-oriented project proved untenable.
In sub-Saharan Africa, PPPs have become a dominant force in agricultural development projects over the past ten years, especially within the context of developing value chains for agricultural inputs that are pro-poor insofar as the focus is on the African context and smallholder farmers. This case focuses on a public-philanthropic partnership for seed system development between the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-arid Tropics (ICRISAT), a member of the CGIAR Consortium, and the BMGF. Historically, ICRISAT has received funding for seed system research and development activities largely under the auspices of participatory plant breeding (PPB) activities, where breeders and farmers work together to identify, select, and test new varieties with an eye toward supporting a development-oriented seed system embedded in the local context (Louwaars and de Boef 2012; Weltzien et al. 2008). The PPB project in Mali was originally funded by a small international philanthropic organization that focuses on place-based, integrated agriculture approaches. The project focused on sorghum, a native cereal grain, as an important food and local market crop, and one for which seed systems have historically been informal in the sense of both being outside of the scientific breeding system and accessed outside of a standardized, capitalistic marketplace (Sperling and McGuire 2010). Sorghum seeds, for example, are historically not sold, given their social and cultural value (Smale et al. 2008). As one farmer in southern Mali remarked, people “give [seeds] as gifts. You don't have seeds this year, but maybe in the future it will be him in need, so he will go to you. So it's not really something to exchange or sell.”
The PPB approach to seed system development reflects a form of hybrid governance of technology development, and even in these nonmarket relationships disparities in actors’ roles and the nature of participation exist (Jones, Glenna, and Weltzien 2014). The partnership between ICRISAT and BMGF, however, has shifted focus to developing sorghum varieties (hybrids) that require more inputs in the form of labor and expertise. Over the past five years, as direct funding from and partnerships with the BMGF have increased, the orientation of sorghum seed system development efforts by ICRISAT in Mali has shifted toward a value chain approach that requires differentiation of actors and activities within the seed system. At the seed multiplication and marketing stages of the formal seed system being instituted in Mali, the BMGF directly supports private seed enterprises through grants and loans. These relationships are stand-alone economic development efforts, but they are also reflective of the PPP between ICRISAT and BMGF that asks ICRISAT to facilitate market creation by providing the breeding materials and base seed to the seed producers, as well as building relationships and capacity among market actors.
Faso Kaba, one of the most successful seed companies in Mali for cereal crops, provides a prime example of how the PPP between ICRISAT and BMGF finances and permeates every aspect of the seed system (for a detailed account of Faso Kaba, see Dalohoun et al. 2011). The private seed enterprise has received both grants and loans from the BMGF-funded Alliance for a Green Revolution for Africa (AGRA), as well as training on seed commercialization. Faso Kaba contracts out seed multiplication with a civil society farmer organization that also receives funding from the BMGF through ICRISAT PPB projects, and it works with agrodealers, some funded by AGRA and some by ICRISAT, to sell seeds (for discussion of agrodealers, see Scoones and Thompson 2011). Both the PPP and neoliberal governance arrangements are necessary to facilitate each link in the seed value chain being developed to create the standardized market conditions necessary for the private seed enterprise to have any chance of growing in Mali. At the same time, ICRISAT and its local public partners are mandated to be responsive to local context in order to keep their efforts embedded, and the plant breeders are oriented toward supporting farmers’ lived realities, which demand germ plasm diversity rather than standardization. As one farmer organization representative in Mali remarked, “With climate change, we can't ask farmers to leave their local varieties, but to have more varieties. Because if one doesn't work, another will.” BMFG's emphasis on hybrid varieties and the seed systems needed to produce and disseminate them exemplifies the disembedding influence of neoliberal philanthropic goals of scalability, in contrast to a local, social orientation toward seed saving and diversification.
The cases analyzed in this paper present examples of contexts within which PPPs between civil society and private actors for agricultural development have an explicit emphasis on generating economic value for social groups, in these cases poor farmers, that are left out of freely functioning private markets. Engaging in these PPPs is a form of double movement, since the civil society partners must articulate the negative social impacts of leaving poor farmers out of conventional value chains and must identify an economic market motivation for private actors to engage with poor farmers. In other words, public actors identify a negative impact of markets and then engage the creation of market mechanisms as a solution that can also deliver the social goal of inclusion. The three cases offer points of contrast and comparison for analyzing the impacts of the double movement when enacted through hybrid governance arrangements in the contemporary neoliberal context. The impacts for actors within these partnerships are heterogeneous, but a common theme across all three cases suggests that it is the civil society actors that must negotiate the tensions inherent in double movement for pro-poor market-oriented development. Because there is not a clear path to institutionalization of the double movement enacted through the partnerships in these cases, and because the power dynamics are increasingly dominated by private and philanthropic behemoths, the public and civil society actors face a loss of leverage and investment if they do not meet the market expectations of their partners. At the same time, the disembedding demands of the market-oriented partners are often fundamentally at odds with other nonmarket goals and social values held by the public and civil society actors. How the actors navigate these tensions affects their legitimacy with both their private partners and their farmer constituents and reflects the double edge of this form of double movement (Bäckstrand 2006; Bloom 2014).
In Honduras, Walmart's CSR programming required PPPs with USAID and facilitation by civil society partners, who took on the burden of the double movement re-embedding process. Although the company states that domestic sourcing will improve access to affordable food, Walmart's local sourcing is framed primarily as a market opportunity for farmers, thus reflecting a neoliberal emphasis on the ability of markets to address local concerns about poverty and equity. Without an institutional mechanism to ensure these outcomes, however, civil society actors wishing to remain in partnership with private enterprise must be able to create supply chain efficiencies and return on investment for their private partners, forcing them to adopt an economic logic that can be seen as undermining their social motivations (Bloom 2015). The case of PepsiCo in Peru presents an even clearer example of the double movement tension inherent in market-oriented development. By encouraging the development of value chains for native potatoes, PepsiCo is ostensibly trying to re-embed the market within local priorities and preferences. However, the value chain requirements set by PepsiCo make demands through the hybrid governance relationships that disembed the economic system from social realities. For example, the focus on just a few native potato varieties that are not used locally as food varieties creates tension for civil society actors like the national NGO that has a goal of harnessing crop diversity to meet local, heterogeneous needs (Hellin and Higman 2005). The public-philanthropic partnerships that are supporting seed system development in Mali are less established than the public-private partnerships that they replicate, but they are profoundly important as new hybrid governance arrangements, especially in sub-Saharan Africa (Schurman 2011). In Mali, these public-philanthropic partnerships are setting a comprehensive agenda for seed system development that seeks to incorporate more farmers and more crops into the market system for inputs and outputs. This has meant demands on the public and civil society actors to formalize and disembed activities across the seed system, from breeding to seed multiplication and certification to the points of final sale.
In all three cases analyzed here, it is civil society actors who explicitly experience the tension inherent in the double movement. Public actors in PPPs are selected for their embeddedness and are being pushed by their missions and constituents to incorporate smallholder farmers in value chains in a way that re-embeds economic relationships in local social conditions. At the same time, they are being asked by their partners (private or philanthropic) to structure their work to disembed the value chain by prioritizing economic returns on investment and efficiencies of scale. In the contemporary context of global neoliberalism, these tensions are often addressed through hybrid governance arrangements that facilitate a process to negotiate and agree to trade-offs between economic and noneconomic values (McCarthy and Prudham 2004). When these processes involve a national or global state actor with the ability and desire to enforce the negotiated trade-offs, the double movement is institutionalized (see Evans 2015 for discussion of relationships between the private sector and national and global state actors in double movements). On the basis of the findings of our cases, we argue that in contexts in which the state is unwilling or unable to support or enforce the social mandate to limit market logic, the double movement will not necessarily generate new institutional arrangements to buffer against or enable the expansion of the market system.
The lack of institutionalization of the double movement is reflective of the governmentality hypothesis that contemporary governance systems are all underpinned by a market logic that precludes non-market-oriented structures (Bartley 2007; Sending and Neumann 2006). At the same time, the lack of institutionalization also limits the commodification of poor farmers who are not yet fully incorporated into global capitalism. In the moment when institutionalization fails we see not only the tensions that exist for public and civil society actors in PPPs focused on developing pro-poor agricultural value chains but also the tensions and impacts for the poor farmers on whom development is being enacted. For some farmers, the role of producer as separate from consumer is already familiar and fits within a market-oriented livelihood strategy. Hence we see farmers in Honduras able to engage with the horticultural value chains in ways that allow them to scale up their farming operations, and some seed producers in Mali becoming increasingly specialized in growing grain only for seed, not for food. However, for other farmers who are, in Polanyi's terms, not yet disembedded, the offer of a value chain is both a source of cash and a shift away from livelihood strategies that give preference to social goals like equity and self-sufficiency. The persistence of nonrational decision making by farmers in the Peruvian highlands who struggle to adhere to potato chip quality standards for their potatoes, for example, and the continued saving and sharing of seeds in Mali suggest both a limited material ability to participate in new value chains and a reluctance to commodify their land and labor. This is perhaps an agrarian version of O'Connor's (1988) theories about mediated transitions from capitalism, and many scholars have noted the increasingly sophisticated peasant responses to disembedding influences in agriculture in both developed (Mann and Dickinson 1978; van der Ploeg 2008) and developing country (Djurfeldt 2013; McMichael 2006) contexts. In effect, farmers and farm households become a new kind of partner in hybrid governance schemes, engaging with the value chains when it suits them but maintaining diversity in production and priorities as a way to buffer against commodification.
The involvement of public and civil society actors in pro-poor market-oriented development appears to present the possibility of re-embedding market relationships in social institutions as part of the double movement. However, the analysis presented here reflects the limited findings of other analyses of PPPs (see Abdulsamad et al. 2015; Schäferhoff et al. 2009) and suggests that the double movement cannot be fully realized in at least some PPPs with power imbalances among partners and lack of clear institutionalization mechanisms. These hybrid governance relationships fragment power dynamics among actors and complicate the question of whether it is possible to generate institutions that reflect the double movement inherent in such partnerships. Traditionally, a state institution is the “entity that reflects and governs—directly or indirectly—the relations between the urban and the rural economies and therefore relations between markets and primary producers … and the interrelations between peasants, traders and food processers” (van der Ploeg 2013:84). However, states and other public actors are increasingly unable or unwilling to govern the relations between local and global economies and the relations among multiple actors with interests in the agrarian sphere. These power differentials give hegemonic influence to the private and philanthropic actors, who set the rules of the game and can withhold their financial support at any time with few consequences.
Throughout this paper, we argue that certain types of double movement in the contemporary international development context manifest as hybrid governance partnerships between actors with hegemonic financial power and public actors working to institute pro-poor market systems in countries that lack regulatory capacity. The upside of these PPPs is that they often begin with a public actor looking to re-embed market logic in the reality of specific places, as evidenced by the emphasis on traditional crops in both the Peruvian and Malian contexts. However, we see the neoliberal development agenda and the more recent evolution of pro-poor market-oriented international development as a form of hybrid governance that does not allow for the institutionalization of the double movement. Neoliberalism shifted responsibility for re-embeddedness away from the state, and contemporary global political structures assume a market orientation to all development processes. As a result, the exclusionary impacts of markets are being addressed through pro-poor value chains that are inherently contradictory and so require hybrid governance of a double movement process to institute.
In the cases presented in this paper, hybrid governance works to smooth out the edges of integration into the market system without institutionalizing limits on capitalist production. These cases also support our theoretical observation that the mismatch in power between civil society actors and private actors in agricultural development PPPs, combined with missing or complicit state actors, precludes institutionalization or the re-embedding of markets into durable social structures that value inclusion and can enforce the bounds that this value places on market activity. Although evidence from three case studies is not robust enough to make broad conclusions about the potential for hybrid governance arrangements to achieve social progress in the agri-food sector, the findings should raise some doubt that the outcomes of PPPs are able to match their development goals. The challenges that emerged in Honduras, Peru, and Mali are all different in nature, which may prevent the identification of a single trend in PPPs at this point, but they demonstrate the diversity in challenges—and thus numerous potential pitfalls—that hybrid governance schemes may confront as they seek to constrain market logic.
As Busch (2010) notes, the challenges to power and legitimacy that have come from global expansion of the market society have also created new spaces for negotiation and contestation—in other words, new spaces within which double movement or more transformative action can manifest. Evans (2008) poses a key question for double movements in the context of hybrid governance among state, market, and society: “Are such movements merely an interesting socio-cultural epiphenomenon, useful perhaps in drawing attention to the worst excesses of neo-liberal globalization, but incapable of generating the kind of political power that could generate real changes in the structures of economic and political power at the global level?” (p. 272). The failure of the PPPs discussed here to be institutionalized means that noneconomic values of inclusion and redistribution are unlikely to be incorporated into value chains going forward, because the power differences within this form of hybrid governance undermine two-way negotiation and instituted process. At the same time, the land and labor of poor farmers are therefore not fully commodified, which from a theoretical assessment is positive and provides long-term social and ecological value that cannot be generated through market participation. In the context of international agricultural development, there is a very material double edge to the failure of the double movement to be institutionalized if farmers lose the ability to garner any benefit, even if negotiated, from market participation. However, we take as hopeful the agency that civil society actors and the farmers with whom they work are seizing as they navigate the uncertain terrain of contemporary double movements, through the persistence of diversity and articulation of values-based alternatives to neoliberalized agricultural systems.