BRICS Initiatives in Critical Agrarian Studies (BICAS)

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BICAS is a collective of largely BRICS-based or connected academic researchers concerned with understanding the BRICS countries and their implications for global agrarian transformations.

Critical theoretical and empirical questions about the origins, character and significance of complex changes underway need to be investigated more systematically. In taking forward this research agenda, we are building on and intending to extend the focus of existing knowledge about the BRICS.

The rise of BRICS countries has been accompanied by the rise of interest and academic research initiatives in recent years. Most of these initiatives are Africa-centric, tracking the impact of several BRICS countries on Africa.

Research focus and analytical framework

In building our network, our research focus and analytical frameworks differ from other research on the BRICS in at least four ways:

  1. We are not primarily concerned with the BRICS as an organisation, but with the constituent countries themselves and the changes underway within their national territories, around them regionally (intra-regional), and their activities in other regions (inter-regional). Our aim is to ground our analysis at the national level in a critical understanding of agrarian, environmental, and agro-investment policies, and to linking this through macro-level analysis and specific case studies to changes elsewhere in their regions and other regions.
  2. We are pursuing research and analysis framed primarily within agrarian political economy; unlike most BRICS research partnerships, we are not conducting strategic studies nor focused on international relations (IR) explanations.
  3. We are scholars rooted in the contexts of the BRICS countries and their neighbours. These are considered the world’s new centres of capital accumulation, but they also need to become hubs for knowledge production, and BICAS is founded on a desire to shape the process and politics of knowledge production about the BRICS, from within them.
  4. We do not focus exclusively on the BRICS countries; rather, we want to examine them in relation to both the older conventional hubs of global capital in the North Atlantic, and the rising MICs.

Contact the BICAS team


BICAS publications

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