BRICS Initiatives in Critical Agrarian Studies (BICAS)

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS/PAPERS for the international conference:

New Extractivism, Peasantries and Social Dynamics:

Critical Perspectives and Debates

BRICS Initiative in Critical Agrarian Studies

5th international conference, Moscow, 13-16 October 2017

Send your abstract: 500 words plus 100 words short bio – in one file, Word format

Deadline: 15 June 2017

Selected Abstracts will be announced 25 June; will be invited to submit full papers

Deadline for full paper (6,000-10,000 words): 25 September (the earlier the better)

All papers will be published online as BICAS working paper and will be uploaded on to the conference website. There is a plan for journal special issues for papers.

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. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.

BICAS is an ‘engaged research’ initiative founded on a commitment to generating solid evidence and detailed, field-based research that can deepen analysis and inform policy and practice. In BICAS we will aim to connect disciplines across political economy, political ecology and political sociology in a multi-layered analytical framework, to explore agrarian transformations unfolding at national, regional and global levels and the relationships between these levels.

BICAS promotes critical and collaborative research to deepen understanding and to inform responses at local, national, regional and global levels. 

Possible initiatives/projects aside from in-house collaborative research among coordinating members:

  1. International conference, seminars and workshops around the themes discussed above
  2. Small research grant competition, especially aimed at PhD researchers doing field research
  3. Various forms of affliations by researchers: as interns, as ‘post-docs’, as fellows
  4. BICAS Working Paper Series

Contact us

For more information and contact, please email