"People, Planet & Profit": Consumer-Oriented Hegemony and Power Relations in Palm Oil and Agrofuel Certification

Melanie Pichler

Veröffentlichungen: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftArtikelPeer Reviewed


Palm oil comprises the fastest growing monoculture in the world and is used for food, cosmetics, and agrofuels. This article analyzes the attempts to guarantee the sustainable production of palm oil and agrofuels through voluntary certification schemes such as the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) from a critical state and hegemony theory perspective. Rather than seeing the RSPO as a voluntary and nongovernmental instrument that represents the interests of all concerned stakeholders equally, I analyze the roundtable as part of a transnational network state that is characterized by strategic selectivities, that is, some interests and strategies are privileged over others. Based on expert interviews in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore and the analysis of primary documents I conclude that the RSPO privileges business interests in general and export-oriented palm oil companies and downstream industries along the value chain in particular, whereas smallholders, plantation workers, and indigenous peoples are marginalized through different structures and processes, contributing to an actual depoliticization of socioecological conflicts.
Seiten (von - bis)370-390
FachzeitschriftThe Journal of Environment & Development
Frühes Online-Datum28 Okt. 2013
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 18 Nov. 2013

ÖFOS 2012

  • 5060 Politikwissenschaften
  • 105904 Umweltforschung


  • Palmöl
  • Agrartreibstoffe
  • transnationaler Netzwerkstaat
  • RSPO
  • konsumorientierte Hegemonie
  • strategische Selektivitäten


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