Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-7635

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Neoliberal Economic, Social, and Spatial Restructuring: Valparaíso and Its Agricultural Hinterland

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Abstract:  The analysis of the neoliberal restructuring of Chilean port cities and their hinterland suggests there was a functional coupling of neoliberalisation, precarisation, reterritorialisation, extraction, and logistics. To address this process properly, we expanded the boundaries of our analytical scale to include not only the port city, but also its hinterland, and be able to examine the flow of commodities and labour. The analysis demonstrated that the effects of neoliberal restructuring of Valparaíso and its hinterland has had interconnected ambivalent effects. Although social and economic restructuring of agricultural hinterland and port terminals in Chile increased land and port productivity and economic competitiveness, this pattern of capitalist modernisation benefitted neither the increasing masses of temporary precarious workers in the countryside nor port cities such as Valparaíso, marked by territorial inequality, socioecological damage, urban poverty, and a growing sense of closure of the littoral and reduced access to the ocean. These negative externalities and frictions have triggered local political controversies, commercial and economic disputes, labour strikes, and urban and socio-territorial conflicts.

Keywords:  agribusiness; Chile; port-city; social and economic restructuring; Valparaíso



© Hernán Cuevas Valenzuela, Jorge Budrovich Sáez, Claudia Cerda Becker. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.