When: Thursday, February 25, 2021, 3:00 PM - 4:30 PMWhere: Online
Speaker: Demet Sahende Dinler, University of Sussex
Demet Sahende Dinler, University of Sussex, Designing Fair Markets: An Ethnography of Cut Flower Auctions in Turkey
Contemporary markets create various inequalities for small producers in the Global South, from the power of local middlemen setting opaque prices to exploitative relations in supply chains. But what if producers were to re-design market institutions and make the rules of their own trading platforms and price-making processes? This paper explores one such possibility through the multi-sited ethnography of the cut flower sector in Turkey. I compare export traders producing for global cut flower chains with local cut flower grower cooperatives in the domestic market. Transparent auctions governed by producer cooperatives not only restrain the power, but also tap the skills and networks of middlemen. Their complex formal bidding structure, the social interactions they nurture generate multiple parallel prices which enable growers to maintain autonomy and thrive. I ask whether the principles of this fair market design can be applicable to other local contexts and, more significantly, to global chains. Demet Dinler is Lecturer in International Development at the School of Global Studies, University of Sussex where se was previously Helena Normanton Research Fellow. She researches multi-sited ethnographies of local and global markets (waste and cut flower), class relations, activism and social change, post-capitalist economies. She sits the Editorial Board of the Journal Historical Materialism.