State-regulation of FDI in agriculture

Despite the widespread narrative that, in the age of financialized capitalism, the state has been rolled back, with its remnants somewhat helplessly watching how restless capital hops from place to place, it still plays an important role in the regulation of foreign direct and portfolio investments into agriculture and other domains. The regulatory capacity of the state is, of course, highly uneven, but, more importantly, it appears in varied and sometimes surprising ways. In many countries, the state has been central in giving rise to the asset management industry that we know, and the capital flows the latter administers cannot be thought of without the productive powers of the former. To name but a few examples: state regulation deeply shapes the fiduciary and delegation practices underpinning global investment chains; the state often acts as a grantor of land and the property rights that are so central to the making of institutional landscapes inside and outside agriculture; state regulation also shapes how much value can be extracted from agricultural labour and nature, and how much of this is being redistributed domestically as part of taxation arrangements.