[CfP] Conference 2017 – Agrarian Political Economy – Comparative approaches to the global south

8th Annual Conference in Political Economy ‘The Political Economy of Inequalities and Instabilities in the 21st Century’

International Initiative for Promoting Political Economy (IIPPE) Critical Political Economy Research Network (CPERN) Berlin Institute for International Political Economy (IPE)

September 13-15, 2017, Berlin School of Economics and Law

Call for papers in the panel: Agrarian Political Economy – Comparative approaches to the global south

A sense of urgency animates the study of agrarian social formations in this conjuncture of multi-layered crises of production, reproduction, politics and ideology. In the wake of failed neoliberalism and the backlash of old and new forms of populism, interest has been reignited in historical materialism as a method of study, and in class relations and linked struggles as key vectors of analysis. Agrarian Political Economy enables us to take stock of older debates while remaining relevant to the study of contemporary capitalist development and crisis. It is critically aware of the problems posed by the construction of knowledge; the theorisation of processes of agrarian change and the imperative to transform the world.

For the third year running a group of scholars located in the broad field of Agrarian Political Economy, and who work on agrarian social dynamics in Asia, Africa and Latin America, will meet at IIPPE to discuss aspects of their field work and analysis in a space designed to foster historical and comparative analysis. At the core of this panel is a shared reference to the classical as well as more recent literature on Agrarian Questions and a keen awareness of the asymmetric power relations cutting through agrarian formations and households. How can Agrarian Political Economy inform comparative analysis across national and other settings, and how can comparative analysis deepen our understanding of context-specific dynamics? This panel welcomes contributions informed by theory and grounded in empirical investigation of the dynamics of production, property and power in different parts of the developing world. We invite individual papers engaging with:

  • Agrarian political economy in and beyond agriculture (migration, urbanisation, cropping, livestock farming, mining, fishing and aquaculture)
  • Relations of surplus value production, extraction and appropriation in agrarian social formations
  • Social differentiation, class formation, class structures and class struggle
  • Classes of labour and politics of labour in and beyond agriculture
  • Capital and State relations; the role of states sustaining expanded reproduction
  • Intersectional analysis and critique: the intersections of class, gender and generation
  • Debates around caste and class; customary power; communal tenure; the lineage mode of production; indígenas and campesinos.
  • Feminist and critical interrogations of social reproduction and the social division of labour
  • The problematique of agrarian relations of production and the development of the forces of production in Asia, Africa and Latin America
  • The contradictions of capital in contemporary agriculture: contract farming, joint ventures, share-cropping, communal tenure.
  • Ideological struggle and domination; agrarian social movements; agrarian politics of resistance
  • Trajectories of accumulation; competition between agrarian, merchant and interest-bearing capital
  • Capital upstream and downstream of agriculture; the industrial grain-livestock complex
  • Capital and labour in global commodity and value chains
  • The metabolic rift; climate change; the limits of capitalist reproduction
  • Theoretical, epistemological and methodological debates in comparative agrarian political economy

Accepted papers and presentations will be considered for publication in a special issue or a volume edited by the organising committee. Abstracts of individual papers (max. 1200 characters) should be submitted to IIPPE. Please choose:Agrarian Change” (working group) and send a copy of your title and abstract to this panel’s convenors listed below.

The deadline for submission is April 1st, 2017

For questions and additional information please contact the panel convenors: Ben Cousins (bcousins@plaas.org.za), Jens Lerche (jl2@soas.ac.uk), Jonathan Pattenden (j.pattenden@uea.ac.uk) and Helena Pérez Niño (hp6@soas.ac.uk).

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