This paper is based on field research in the northern Benin, West Africa. The research aimed to investigate how interpersonal and intra-organisational conflicts disrupted cotton production and froze collective action. Cotton has proven to be the lifeline for farmer organisations, and has driven collective action in rural areas. The struggle to control these organisations and their economic and social benefits created mismanagement and free-riding reactions. The greed for resources, in the end, led to hatred, disruption of ties, and conflicts within and between farmer organisations, which resulted in the decline of cotton production and the freeze of collective action. Results from case studies show that social relations based on kinship and friendship deteriorate when financial stakes are high, and that cooperation within large groups requires legal sanctions to be sustainable.
|Keywords:||Cotton Production, Collective Action, Social Cohesion, Benin|
PhD Student, Social Sciences Department, , Chair of Sociology of Consumption and Households, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands and Institut National des Recherches Agricoles du Bénin, Porto-Novo, Wageningen, Benin
Professor of Sociology, Department of Social Sciences,, Sociology of Consumption and Households Group, Wageningen University, Wageningen, Netherlands