From statism to cooperation for export-oriented production? The case of contract farming in Greece

Hosted by the Hellenic Observatory

CBG.2.04, 2nd floor, Centre Building, LSE, United Kingdom


Dr Kira Gartzou-Katsouyanni

Dr Kira Gartzou-Katsouyanni


Professor Kevin Featherstone

Professor Kevin Featherstone

Cooperation in production is key for economic development in areas with many small firms, such as Greece. However, cooperative efforts often stumble on obstacles like mistrust and collective action problems. Coordinated Market Economies (CMEs) have well-developed macro-level institutions that reduce those obstacles.

However, Greece is not a CME; statism and clientelism have traditionally undermined cooperation for export-oriented production. Can institutions that facilitate cooperation be introduced in such a context? This paper addresses this question based on the case of contract farming in Greece. Following the transfer of the Agricultural Bank of Greece to Piraeus Bank during the Eurozone crisis, contract farming was introduced as a lending programme that creates a tripartite relationship between producers, firms, and banks. The paper assesses the extent to which contract farming facilitates cooperation in the agri-food sector, and explores what we learn from this case about the introduction of coordinating institutions in a statist environment.

Meet our speaker and chair

Kira Gartzou-Katsouyanni is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the Department of Politics and International Relations (DPIR) of the University of Oxford. Previously, she was the Hellenic Bank Association Postdoctoral Fellow at the LSE’s Hellenic Observatory, and an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow at the LSE’s European Institute, from where she also holds her PhD. Her research focuses on the political economy of place. Her PhD thesis and articles in the Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society and New Political Economy explain under what conditions economic actors overcome the obstacles to cooperation in unfavourable settings and begin to work together to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes, fostering economic development in fragmented economies. She is also a co-editor of a Special Issue on “firm-centred, multi-level approaches to overcoming semi-peripheral constraints”, which is forthcoming in Studies in Comparative International Development in 2024. Moreover, Kira has co-authored articles on the causes and impacts of Brexit at the local level, which were published in Politics & Society and Governance. She is also a co-author of The Greco-German Affair in the Euro Crisis: Mutual Recognition Lost? (Palgrave Pivot, 2018), and she has written a chapter about the historical roots of pro- and anti-EU attitudes in Greece (in Gilbert and Pasquinucci 2020). Her newest project, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, is entitled “Land inequality and the politics of place in advanced democracies”, and it aims to develop and test a theory linking the landholding distribution in productive sectors and political preferences along the left-right and cosmopolitan-nationalist dimensions.

Kevin Featherstone is the Hellenic Observatory Director and Professorial Research Fellow, LSE.

The twitter Hashtag for this event is: #LSEGreece


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