[CfP] Conference 2016 – Agrarian Change Working Group

IIPPE 7th International Conference in Political Economy
‘Political Economy: International Trends and National Differences’
School of Economics & Management, University of Lisbon, Portugal
September 7-9, 2016

Call for Papers: Agrarian Change Working Group

‘Agrarian Political Economy: making sense of land, labour and capital dynamics in times of crisis’

In a year with a strong El Niño, droughts and floods have accentuated the crisis of reproduction and unveiled the fragility of agricultural systems across the globe. The sluggish recovery from the 2007- 2008 financial crisis, the slowing down of Chinese demand and the current trend in the prices of oil are having effects on agrarian social formations with implications – via food prices, labour markets, land deals – for wider social and political processes. The latest crisis expresses the contradictions of an increasingly integrated global agriculture which progressively concentrates and reproduces poverty and exploitation. In such a conjuncture the capacity of critical agrarian political economy to account for the crises and to rethink agrarian change is ultimately tested. The Agrarian Change working group fosters the study of agrarian relations through world-historical, class-based perspectives.

Building on a debate started in Naples and continued in Leeds, the Agrarian Change working group calls for individual papers and thematic panels on the Political Economy of Agrarian Change for the 7th IIPPE conference in Lisbon. Submissions to this stream will engage with social, economic and political power relations in the spheres of agricultural production and exchange and in relation to land, labour and capital in all regions of the world. We welcome papers discussing:

  • Power and inequality in agrarian systems; social differentiation; accumulation from below and above; class formation.
  • Labour and social mobilisation; class struggles in the countryside; rural social movements and transnational agrarian movements; alternative networks and politics (e.g. the Latin American left).
    Emerging forms of organising production and pricing; encounters between capital and commodity producers .
  • Private-led quality and social standards and certification; vertical integration and implications for the creation and appropriation of value.
  • Capital upstream and downstream from agriculture, market integration, accumulation across sectors, the financialisation of agriculture.
  • Productive and merchant capital, global commodity chains, ‘flex-crops’, and the political economy of illicit crops.
  • Rural labour markets, labour and migration, remittances and agriculture; social protection and employment schemes, the rural ‘precariat’, informality and rural livelihoods.
  • Experiences with land reform, land restitution and redistribution; unpacking community and customary structures (e.g. South Africa).
  • The formation and contestation of property and authority over land and other land-based resources; land grabs and large-scale land acquisition; the development of biofuels.
  • The state and agricultural policy
  • Gender, generational, caste and race politics in agrarian formations
  • Theory and methods in agrarian political economy; Marxist agrarian political economy; the transition debates and the agrarian question(s).
  • The metabolic rift and the limits to capitalist reproduction, political ecology, resources and environmental conflict.
  • Food regimes; food systems and the food sovereignty debate; corporate appropriation of the ‘food dollar’.

We encourage the submission of panel proposals (consisting of up to four presentations) as an opportunity to showcase the work of study groups in greater depth than is possible in single presentations. Abstracts of individual papers (max. 500 words) or panel proposals (max. 500 words plus abstracts of the individual papers) can be submitted via the Electronic Proposal Form. For other questions and additional information contact: Helena Pérez Niño (hpereznino@plaas.org.za) and Leandro Vergara-Camus (lv6@soas.ac.uk).


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