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“The Red Gold of Serbia”: A Relational Account of the European Landscapes of Capitalism Through the Lens of Raspberries

The CEU Campus
Wednesday, February 7, 2018, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm

The research project traces how in recent decades Serbia has become the world market leader in raspberry production. The emergent infrastructural entanglements included new kinship, patron-client and cooperative relations in South-Western Serbia; transnational integration with migrant economies, manufacturers, and consumers; and regulatory networks between municipalities, businesses, INGOs, the Ministry of Agriculture, and EU institutions. Raspberries constitute a major Serbian export commodity, and several thousand households prosper from their labor-intensive farms. No wonder raspberries became a token of hope for a better future in a de-industrialized region. However, producing raspberries is a sophisticated process requiring care, knowledge, time, and favorable weather conditions. The growing number of producers therefore threatens quality standards and consumer safety. Indeed, a “Europeanizing Serbia” is thus torn in normative double binds between Europeanisation “from below” by small producers and “from above” by EU quality regulations.