Globalization and Rural Development: Insights from a Grassroots Engagement with International Trade

Sean Irwin, Doug Ramsey


This paper presents a place-based case of some of the social and economic effects that globalization, and specifically international trade, can have on rural development.   Using a historical description and semi-structured interviews, it focuses on a member led organic and fair-trade organization in Southern Belize.  Our understanding of how globalization can affect rural people in the global South, specifically how opportunities can be exploited and pitfalls avoided, is lacking.  This paper argues that the creation of a grassroots co-operative structure contributed to the development of a stable income generating strategy and reduced vulnerability to the risks involved in international trade for the members of the organization.


rural development; international trade; globalization; fairtrade; grassroots; Belize

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International Journal of Cooperatives Studies

ISSN 2168-2631/  eISSN 2168-264X

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