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Fraser A.
Annals of the American Association of Geographers
Mexico's “Sugar Tax”: Space, Markets, Resistance
1 ()
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© 2018 by American Association of Geographers Sugar consumption recently has become an object of political deliberation in the context of public health concerns about “obesity” and high prevalence rates of type 2 diabetes. Mexico has attracted significant attention in this regard, especially since its government introduced a “sugar tax” in 2013. The sugar tax was widely acclaimed by public health campaigners as a victory amidst an otherwise corporate-run foodscape. In this article, I interrogate the political debate over the tax as it played out in the Mexican Congress in 2013 and 2015. Analysis of political debates has value when it takes seriously the sociospatial constitution of the economy and its unending iterability. Debates illuminate interrelations among space, markets, and resistance; that is, core issues engaged by scholars in geography (and beyond) in the light of the expanding scope and depth of market relations. I argue that the debate sheds light on the concept of “foodscapes of hope,” to which geographers have turned to summarize new spatial formations regarding the production and consumption of food. Specifically, I argue that foodscapes of hope emerge via processes of “marketization”—and using the political debate regarding Mexico's sugar tax I demonstrate how geography is drawn on and reproduced when marketization occurs. Space, markets, and resistance are bound up with one another in complex interassociations. Against this backdrop, the frontiers of intellectual deliberation on “alternative” social formations must engage the full significance of market relations, a challenge that geographers are well placed to meet.
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