A self-managed cooperative is conceptually defined as an organization owned and managed by workers. This mode of production assumes an urgent relevance in light of ongoing challenges posed by global neoliberal capitalism. This study endeavours to historicize the shift towards non-traditional agricultural exports (NTAEs) in the operations of self-managed agricultural production cooperatives in Costa Rica; explore the social relations of production apparent in two case studies; and situate the reorientation of cooperative agriculture and transformation of cooperative labour within the context of global neoliberal capitalism. Through an ethnographic investigation of two self-managed agricultural production cooperatives, this investigation seeks to link daily realities to prevailing socioeconomic structures. Findings suggest that self-managed agricultural production cooperatives in Costa Rica have assimilated the NTAE imperative of the state and capital and have concurrently intensified the employment of hired workers from outside cooperative membership in apparent conflict with the tenet of worker self-management.
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