New Extractivism Peasantries and Social Dynamics: Critical Perspectives and Debates
Fifth conference, Moscow, 13-16 October 2017 organized by BRICS Initiative in Critical Agrarian Studies
About the conference
Over the past two decades, agrarian economies and food systems have been undergoing a profound restructuring in the wake of large-scale land investments and the increasing financialization of capital and land. These have reinforced old and created new forms and sites of capital accumulation by local and foreign elites, and supported both old and new forms of extractivism and agroextractivism. This restructuring has contributed to the unsettling of global geopolitics in this period, the context within which the BRICS grouping of countries was established as a vehicle to pursue their collective and individual agendas.
Recently, uncertainties in global power relations have been exacerbated by the rise of variegated nationalist-populist political projects, movements or governments. Many of these are authoritarian and reactionary – as part of the reaction to, and reflection of, the failure of neoliberal globalization and its version of ‘development’. Such projects sometimes involve chauvinistic appeals to land and nation, and xenophobic violence against outsiders, however defined. Typically, the divisions of class relations are downplayed or hidden by these ideologies and practices, despite their undoubted centrality to the underlying dynamics. On the other hand, new forms of resistance and struggles by oppressed groups, including peasants and traditional communities, are also emerging. Often these involve emancipatory forms of politics, but in some cases they are rife with tensions over class, gender and other social differences. Politics in all its guises thus continues to be a fundamental factor within processes of socio-economic transformation, including agrarian change.
This conference will explore these emerging realities from the perspective of critical and engaged scholarship, in alliance with active social forces. We will seek answers to difficult questions within three main clusters of subthemes – all informed by perspectives derived from agrarian political economy, sociology, and agro-ecology:
(a) The rise of – and current troubles within – the BRICS countries and middle-income countries (MICs), and the implications for agrarian/rural transformations as key aspects of broader social changes, inside these countries and regionally/internationally.
(b) The renewed interest in what some call ‘new extractivism’ and/or ‘agro-extractivism’ – in and in relation to the BRICS countries and middle income countries and beyond – and the role of the state as part of broader agrarian and environmental transformations, and the implications for food sovereignty.
(c) The rise of diverse forms of nationalist and populist movements and governments, within and outside the BRICS countries and middle- income countries, and the involvement in and reactions to such nationalist-populist projects by peasants and other rural classes.
The challenges to advocacy work by civil society and social movement groups in relation to the issues discussed above are enormous. A conversation on this will be an important part of the conference, anchored by the Transnational Institute (TNI).
|Teodor Shanin (Russia)||Marc Edelman (CUNY, USA)|
|Dzodzi Tsikata (Ghana)||Jan Douwe van er Ploeg (WUR, Netherlands)|
|Jayati Ghosh (India)||Henry Bernstein (SOAS, UK)|
|Ian Scoones (IDS Sussex)|
Organizing Committee includes
Teodor Shanin (Moscow), Alexander Nikulin (RANEPA, Moscow), Irina Trotsuk (Moscow), Ben Cousins (PLAAS, South Africa), Ruth Hall (PLAAS South Africa), Sergio Schneider (UFRGS, Brazil), Sergio Sauer (U of Brasilia), Ye Jingzhong (China Agricultural University, Beijing), Jun Borras (ISS, The Hague), Transnational Institute of TNI (Lyda Fernanda, Pietje Vervest, Jennifer Franco). BICAS secretariat (Juan Liu ICTA Barcelona, Ben McKay U of Calgary, Gustavo Oliveira, Swarthmore College.