[CFP] Conference 2018 – Agrarian Change Working Group

9th Annual Conference of the International the Initiative for Promoting Political Economy (IIPPE)
“The State of Capitalism and the State of Political Economy”
September 12-14, 2018 University of Pula, Croatia

Call for papers and activist proposals: Agrarian Change Working Group

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 limited and contradictory achievements of several experiences of left- leaning governments, interest has been reignited in Agrarian Political Economy in the study of contemporary capitalist development and crisis.

Politically, the recurrent crises and instability have led to calls for, and promises of, greater role for the state in regulating economic life. In the context of increased control of agriculture by agribusiness, from commodity chains to upstream and downstream sectors, this is an opportune moment to take stock of the complex and interrelated ways in which the states connect to agrarian systems. Through laws, policies, and the exercise of power, states influence the distribution of land and other productive resources, help determine what is produced and how production is organised, regulate the technical parameters of production, and impact the distribution and marketing of goods, as well as the conditions of labour. The state is also a strategic space where national and transnational actors deploy their strategies to secure access to natural resources, markets, and financial support. What role have states been playing in the agrarian systems of the 21st century and how have/can activists influence the direction it will take?

The agrarian change working group invites you to submit proposals for individual papers, thematic panels or streams of panels. While papers, panels and streams may focus on theoretical and empirical contributions, both historical and contemporary, for any part of the world, we are especially interested in empirically-grounded interventions in contemporary struggles and debates. In this spirit we welcome contributions on the following themes.

  • The role of the state in processes of globalisation of agriculture and food, agrarian and agricultural policies of developing countries
  • 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 (food sovereignty, peasant autonomy, etc.)
  • Theoretical discussions on the nature and relevance (or not) of peasant farming and politics in the context of globalisation and recent struggles from below
  • The contested production of food, control over food, food production systems
  • Private-led quality standards, certification, social and sustainability standards,
  • Vertical integration within commodity chains and implications for the creation and appropriation of value, emerging forms of organising production and pricing,
  • Capital upstream and downstream from agriculture, market integration, the financialisation of agriculture.
  • Labour and migration, remittances and agriculture, social protection and employment schemes, informality and rural livelihoods.
  • Land reform, land restitution and redistribution, unpacking community and customary structures
  • Conflicts over land, land grabs and large-scale land acquisition, the development of flex-crops and agrofuels.
  • Inequalities and gender, generational, caste and race politics in agrarian formations

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. We particularly encourage the submission of papers and panels that engage in comparatives studies, either cross-national within a region, cross-regional, or different national cases through a global commodity chain or a policy.

Abstracts of individual papers (max. 500 words) or panel proposals (max. 500 words plus abstracts of the individual papers) can be submitted via the IIPPE Webpage.

The deadline for submitting abstracts and panel proposal is March 15, 2018.

For questions and additional information contact: Leandro Vergara-Camus, and Jens Lerche.

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