Global neo-liberalism, global ecological modernization, and a swine CAFO in rural Bulgaria

Leland L. Glenna, Georgi V. Mitev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Rural and development sociology studies have tended to credit globalization with low-wage, extractive, environmentally destructive outcomes. Concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) have been treated as a local manifestation of the destructive tendencies of globalization. However, recent scholarship on globalization suggests that globalization may also be credited with high-wage, value-added, environmentally friendly economic growth. Moving beyond a general emphasis on the destructive tendencies of globalization, these studies reveal that variation in industry, national and international policies, firm characteristics, and local geography (socio-economic and biophysical) may influence socioeconomic and ecological outcomes. We discuss how these factors help to create a more complex understanding of the relationship between agrifood globalization and local manifestations of CAFOs. We then highlight an example of a rural Bulgarian CAFO that is locally owned and has come to internalize its waste stream. Our findings support recent scholarship that distinguishes between global neo-liberalism and global ecologically modernization and that emphasizes a more complex understanding of how local socio-economic and biophysical factors interact with global processes to influence rural development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)289-298
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Rural Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science


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