The Art of Rent: The Making of Edamame Monopoly Rents in East Asia – Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space – article

The Art of Rent: The Making of Edamame Monopoly Rents in East Asia

Kuan-Chi Wang | Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space

2019-10-22

Drawing on the monopoly rent concept in the Marxist tradition, this study examines recent transformations in East Asian agriculture through a case study of edamame. The analysis develops rent as an analytical framework—edamame monopoly rents—by incorporating recent literature of “technoscience rent” and “value grabbing.” Based on empirical research of edamame industries in Taiwan and China, I conclude that before edamame industries adopted the World Trade Organization legal frameworks on patenting and intellectual property rights, edamame monopoly rents acquired more characteristics of value grabbing of heterogeneous edamame nature. After the World Trade Organization patented and established legal frameworks in the edamame sector, edamame monopoly rents acquired more characteristics of technoscience rent. Overall, this study identifies value politics and edamame rent regimes through which socio-ecological-technological breakthroughs under rentier capital accumulation have been paving new ways to internalize new commons and terrains in East Asian agriculture.

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