Zeynep Gizem Haspolat
Grant TypeDissertation Fieldwork Grant
Institutional AffiliationRice U.
Grant numberGr. 10114
Approve DateApril 8, 2021
Project TitleHaspolat, Zeynep Gizem (Rice U.) "Commodifying Life, Managing Liveliness: Live Cattle Imports in Turkey"
How do global commodity chains change when the commodity itself is alive? This project studies the reorganization of commodity networks around cattle as a living commodity. It aims to analyze bureaucratic, economic, and scientific ways of commodifying cattle within global economic circuits by focusing on the organization of live imports in Turkey. Taking up the rapid rise in live imports in Turkey over the past decade, the project will examine the ways economic efficiency and veterinary health get negotiated by state officials, importers, and veterinarians involved in live imports. Through detailed ethnographic fieldwork, the project will study the tensions emerging around liveliness as both a source of potential economic value and as something to be managed throughout the exchange process. The rapid rise in cattle imports in Turkey is reflective of not only the regional patterns of increased reliance on live imports for animal agriculture but also broader socio-ecological relations within capitalism. Analyzing the specific manifestation of human-nonhuman animal relations through the commodification of live animals will shed light on the dynamics that characterize the ecological problems that include not only biodiversity loss but also zoonoses and pandemics.