Big Data won’t feed the world: global agribusiness, digital imperialism, and the contested promises of a new Green Revolution View Full Text


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Article Info

DATE

2021-08-19

AUTHORS

David Boarder Giles, Victoria Stead

ABSTRACT

In the face of looming environmental crises and a swelling global population, Big Data’s acolytes envision a “digital revolution” as a solution for global hunger. Interrogating this promise, we argue that Big Data’s imagined futures articulate the realms of international development and smallholder agriculture in the Global South with an ongoing digital reorganisation of global capitalism—integrating farmers into new informational modes of production, and reshaping the nature of labour and human–environment relations in the process. This reorganisation must be located within a long history of crises and spatio-technical fixes for capital accumulation. More specifically, we situate the prefigurations of Big Data along a trajectory of capitalist technical innovations implicated in the propagation of colonial logics, particularly through the apparatuses of international development—for example, through the technical regimes of the “Green Revolution”. The rhetoric of Big Data and its applications within global food systems both reproduce earlier logics of primitive accumulation and colonial biopolitics, and extend them into new forms of digital imperialism that, we suggest, express incipient mutations in the nature of surplus value itself as it is retooled for the Anthropocene era. Big Data therefore portends novel forms of expropriation that are at once material and immaterial. More... »

PAGES

37-53

Identifiers

URI

http://scigraph.springernature.com/pub.10.1007/s10624-021-09631-8

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10624-021-09631-8

DIMENSIONS

https://app.dimensions.ai/details/publication/pub.1140523024


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