‘New Extractivism, Peasantries and Social Dynamics: Critical Perspectives and Debates’

Over 100 scholars and activists from around the world met in Moscow, Russia from 13-16 October 2017 for the 5th BRICS Initiative for Critical Agrarian Studies (BICAS) conference.

The international event titled,  ‘New Extractivism, Peasantries and Social Dynamics: Critical Perspectives and Debates’ was hosted by the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA).

ISS was well represented at the conference with 13 participants, including Adwoa Yeboah Gyapong, Alberto Alonso-Fradejas, Ben McKay (ISS Alumnus), Daniela Andrade, Elyse Mills, Hua Li, Jin Zhang, Jun Borras, Natacha Bruna, Nguyet Bao Dang, Sergio Coronado, Umut Kocagöz, and Yunan Xu.

Rise of emerging economies

Over the course of four days, presenters discussed and debated various themes related to the rise of emerging economies and the implications for national, regional and global agrarian transformations. This included examinations of new forms of (agro) extractivism, the dynamics of social and environmental resistance, and a series on agrarian questions of labor in comparative perspective across the BRICS and other countries in the Global South.

On the 100th anniversary of the 1917 Russian Revolution, panelists also discussed the lessons and legacy of the revolution on peasant and agrarian studies today.

Challenging the North-South divide

Advancing the research agenda of the Initiative, there were also presentations and discussions that challenge conceptions of a North-South divide as the most significant dimension of global inequality in power and wealth given the rise of not only the BRICS, but also Middle-Income Countries such as Argentina, Chile, Peru, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Kenya and Nigeria.

Participants discussed the new relations among countries of the global south – led by the BRICS – and whether and the extent to which they represent mutually beneficial forms of South-South Cooperation, a new imperialism or something else altogether. New state-capital alliances sit at the centre of these debates, and new inquiries emerge also regarding the rise of diverse forms of nationalist and populist movements and governments around the world, prompting important questions regarding the challenges for agrarian studies and social movements in confronting authoritarian populism.

‘Authoritarian Populism and the Rural World’

These questions and others concerning the emergence of, and alternatives to, authoritarian populism will be the topic of another international conference on ‘Authoritarian Populism and the Rural World’ organized by the Emancipatory Rural Politics Initiative (ERPI) and hosted by ISS in The Hague, The Netherlands, on 17-18 March, 2018.

Conference papers

The event in Moscow produced over 70 conference papers, part of our BICAS Working Paper Series.

The BICAS network has already produced two Special Issues in peer-reviewed academic journals on the rise of BRICS and MICs and the implications for global agrarian transformation published in Third World Thematics: A TWQ Journal and Globalizations (forthcoming).

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