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