Agro-terrorism? The causes and consequences of the appearance of witch’s broom disease in cocoa plantations of southern Bahia, Brazil

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Show simple item record Caldas, Marcellus M. Perz, Stephen 2013-11-07T22:08:43Z 2013-11-07T22:08:43Z 2013-11-07
dc.description.abstract During the last few decades, the media, government leaders, scholars and national security analysts have all called attention to the potential threat presented by terrorism. In general, analyses have focused on the use of biological agents to kill or injure people. Consequently, the intentional contamination of crops by biological agents has received less attention in the media and counter-terrorism efforts when compared to possible attacks on civilian populations. However, in many countries, agricultural systems are one of the main economic sectors contributing to political stability, and the present literature lacks examples of terrorist attacks to agricultural systems. This paper is one of the first to discuss a concrete case of the appearance of a plant pathogen in an economically important region, possibly motivated by agro-terrorism. We highlight the differences between agro-terrorism and biocrime, and the causes and the consequences of the intentional introduction of pathogens as a means of causing economic damage. In particular, we argue that agro-terrorism and biocrime are both intentional criminal acts of introducing pathogens into agricultural systems to cause economic damage, but only agro-terrorism does so to advance a political agenda. Also, we argue that agro-terrorism can be difficult to distinguish from biocrime, and even if the intentional introduction of a pathogen is a political act of agro-terrorism, the consequences may or may not follow the desired script contemplated by the perpetrators, as pest outbreaks can entrain unintended economic, political and ecological consequences. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.relation.uri en_US
dc.subject Agro-terrorism en_US
dc.subject Biocrime en_US
dc.subject Cocoa economy en_US
dc.subject Social marginalization en_US
dc.subject Brazil en_US
dc.title Agro-terrorism? The causes and consequences of the appearance of witch’s broom disease in cocoa plantations of southern Bahia, Brazil en_US
dc.type Article (author version) en_US 2013 en_US
dc.citation.doi doi:10.1016/j.geoforum.2013.01.006 en_US
dc.citation.epage 157 en_US
dc.citation.jtitle Geoforum en_US
dc.citation.spage 147 en_US
dc.citation.volume 47 en_US
dc.contributor.authoreid caldasma en_US

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