About the Journal

Commodity Frontiers is the Journal of the Commodity Frontiers Initiative (CFI). Edited by a group of scholars and researchers from various disciplines and organizations in the CFI Network, the Journal explores the history and present of capitalism, contestation, and ecological transformation in the global countryside. The point of departure is the commodity frontier concept, which describes sites and processes of the incorporation of “resources” into the expanding capitalist world economy; resources like land, raw materials, knowledge, and labor. In the past 600 years, commodity frontier expansion has been characterized by ecological and distributional conflicts; the displacement and dispossession of Indigenous peoples and other groups; racialization and othering across colonial, settler colonial, and postcolonial geographies; and the production of class, gender, race, and other inequalities.   


Each themed issue of Commodity Frontiers includes articles about theorizing, studying, and teaching with commodity frontiers. The Journal features reflections and reviews on the uneven and often violent dynamics of capitalist expansion, social change, and ecological transformation on global as well as local scales, in the past and at the present. Contributors include historians, social scientists, (political) ecologists, artists, and activists who work on global commodity production and circulation, rural societies, labor history, the history of capitalism, colonial histories, social metabolism, and conflicts and counternarratives in the countryside. Commodity Frontiers endeavors to carry out one of the central goals of the CFI: to provide long historical perspectives on problems that are often assumed to be modern, and to link historical and contemporary research to critically recast our thinking about sustainability, resilience, and crisis.


Commodity Frontiers is a biannual open-access publication housed at commodityfrontiers.com, through Commodity Frontiers in the Open Journal System at Wageningen University, and distributed through email subscriptions. Its editorial collective is committed to inclusive, anti-racist, anti-sexist, decolonial scholarship and politics.