For What It’s Worth: The Political Construction of Quality in French and Italian Wine Markets

At the heart of political organization, we find weak and atomized individuals who aggregate their power to challenge concentrated power. Wine politics show us that within market economies we find the same political movements: organized French producers challenged supply chain power dynamics and ultimately constructed an institutional comparative advantage for their regulated terroir wines. Markets, like politics, consist of institutions that differentially embed, codify, and distribute power. Economic sociologists claim markets are “socially embedded”. This article demonstrates markets are “politically embedded”.