Of Farms and the State: Changing Relations and Ambivalent Visions in the Dairy Sector in Galicia (Spain)


  • Bibiana Martínez Álvarez



Parole chiave:

state, galicia, family farms, dairy industry, just price


When in 2013 I started doing fieldwork in the dairy sector in Galicia, I was not aware of the important role of the state for the family farms that I was studying. The state was constantly invoked and, at the same time, reviled. Such ambivalent position was recurrent. This gained momentum with the elimination in 2015 of the milk quota that the EU had imposed decades earlier, which led to further liberalisation of the dairy market and to a drastic drop in milk prices. Through historically rooted ethnographic accounts, I intend to show the relation between Galician farmers and the Spanish state, showing how both local and transnational restructuring initiatives have affected my interlocutors’ emotions towards, and vernacular understandings of, the state through different scales. To do this, I will focus on a recent episode of price crisis that affected these farmers, which intensified following the 2008 world economic crisis.






The Everyday States of Austerity: Politics and Livelihoods in Europe