Colegio de Etnólogos y Antropólogos Sociales A.C.

Convocatoria: Emancipatory Rural Politics Initiative (ERPI) Small Grats

In Uncategorized on junio 21, 2017 at 5:42 AM

Emancipatory Rural Politics:

Understanding the contemporary moment and building alternatives

An invitation to a new initiative

Deepening inequalities, failed livelihoods, mass (under)employment, climate chaos, and racist anti-immigrant attacks characterise many settings across the world. Forms of ‘progressive neoliberalism’ — peddled inaccurately as social democracy — have failed to stem disillusionment, disenfranchisement and marginalisation. The rise of populist, nationalist movements — with racist, misogynist and isolationist characteristics — has been one very visible response. Such exclusionary politics are unravelling protections for women, racial minorities, disabled people, LGBTQ communities and many others. This type of populism depicts politics as a struggle between ‘the people’ and some combination of malevolent elites and racialized, unfairly advantaged ‘Others’.

Yet the reactions to exclusionary politics are incredibly diverse, across and indeed within countries. In this Initiative, we are interested in changes ongoing in and in relation to rural areas that both give rise to a particular form of politics, but also offer alternatives. Whether in the US, across Europe, Turkey, India, the Philippines, Brazil or South Africa – and many other countries besides – various forms of reactionary nationalism have entrenched a narrow, sometimes violent, conflictual, exclusionary politics. This may be in the name of ‘taking back control’ in favour of ‘the people’, or putting one ideology and position ‘first’, while excluding others, generating tensions across society. All are responses to crises in contemporary capitalism, yet they are rooted in specific histories, institutional and social structures and political dynamics.

The Emancipatory Rural Politics Initiative (ERPI) focuses on social and political processes across rural spaces. We seek to foster a debate about regressive, authoritarian politics as well as alternatives, documenting, analysing and theorising these in order to advance new emancipatory politics that challenge exclusionary, violent and populist visions. ERPI also aims at analysing, sharing, supporting, deepening and scaling up alternatives.

There are 3 core themes for the Initiative:

  1. The current conjuncture: rural roots and consequences;
  2. Resisting, organising and mobilising for an emancipatory rural politics;
  3. Alternatives: understanding, supporting, creating, deepening and scaling up.

ERPI has been initiated by a small group, building on the successful earlier Land Deals Politics Initiative. Our launch statement lays out the rationale for the Initiative and the core debates and questions that have emerged so far. This is available at .

ERPI aims to kick-start a wide, informed conversation on the three themes listed above, creating a platform for ongoing debate and action. We seek to engage scholars, activists, practitioners and policymakers from across the world who are both concerned about the current conjuncture, but also hopeful about alternatives. We are starting a Working Paper series, supported by a limited number of small grants, to allow for the writing up of original research. In parallel we are inviting short contributions in a variety of media that help to map out responses and alternatives. The Initiative will hold a major international conference, bringing this work together, with the aim of thinking together about new directions, both for academic research and practical action.

Key dates are:

  • 24 April: Informal launch event, Vitoria, Spain
  • 30 June: Deadline for applications for small grants (see details of how to apply at: Small grants)
  • Deadline for the Final papers is 1st January 2018
  • Emancipatory Rural Politics Initiative international conference will be in March/April 2018, The Hague, Netherlands.

You can remain in touch with the ERPI at emancipatoryruralpolitics[@]



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