Populism, authoritarianism and agrarian struggles

Event date:
, - CET

Join this timely discussion on populism, authoritarianism and agrarian struggles.

Around the world emerging new exclusionary politics are generating deepening inequalities, jobless ‘growth’, climate chaos, and social division. These processes have been intensified or exposed in many places by the Covid-19 pandemic and responses to it, but they are not new. Since 2017 the Emancipatory Rural Politics Initiative (ERPI) has used engaged research to better understand these destructive dynamics, and the social and political processes in rural spaces that are generating alternatives to them. We aim to provoke debate and action among scholars, activists, practitioners and policymakers from across the world who are concerned about the current situation, and hopeful about alternatives and resistances.

Today, these questions remain urgent, worldwide. Yet organised movements and actions in and from rural areas have contributed to changing the political trajectories in many countries: the (qualified) success of the Indian farmers' protests; the electoral victories of left-wing parties in Chile, Peru and other countries in Latin America; the repositioning of the Workers Party in Brazil and more. Other tensions and dynamics are playing out in many other countries: from Turkey to Tunisia, Mozambique to the United States of America. In some places regressive populism has turned into outright authoritarianism, as in Myanmar. How do we make sense of all these changes and continuities?

Engaged researchers have published timely collections on these issues: (a) Routledge book 'Authoritarianism and the Rural World' with 20 chapters and edited by Ian Scoones, Saturnino M. Borras Jr., Marc Edelman, Ruth Hall, Lyda Fernanda Forero, Ben White and Wendy Wolford (Open Access ebook); (b) Special Issue of Sociologia Ruralis on authoritarian populism in Europe edited by Natalia Mamonova, Jaume Franquesa and Sally Brooks; (c) Special Issue of Journal of Rural Studies on North America edited by Antonio Roman-Alcala, Garrett Lovelace-Graddy and Marc Edelman; (d) a special forum of Latin American Perspectives edited by Daniela Andrade and Sergio Coronado and e) A View From The Countryside, co-published by TNI, FIAN, and ERPI by Katie Sandwell, Angélica Castañeda Flores, Lyda Fernanda Forero, Jennifer Franco, Sofia Monsalve Suárez, Andrea Nuila and Philip Seufert.

This edition of the Agrarian Conversations Webinar Series will showcase these relevant and urgent publications, discuss recent events, and assess the progress of struggles in and from the rural areas in relation to right-wing populism.


  • Achin Vanaik (TNI, India)
  • Garrett Lovelace-Graddy (American University, USA)
  • Attila Szocs (Ecoruralis & ECVC, Romania)
  • Representative LVC Latin America (TBC)

Moderators: Ruth Hall (PLAAS) and Katie Sandwell (TNI)

Background reading: Preface of ‘Authoritarian Populism and the Rural World’, pages xv-xxi, https://library.oapen.org/handle/20.500.12657/49632 Languages: English, Spanish, French

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