Situating questions about neoliberalism, nationalism and populism in Sri Lanka helps to broaden understanding of historical and political developments. Do neoliberal policies emerge in the West and then spread to the Global South, or do neoliberal policies evolve in confrontations with nationalist, populist and other political projects and go through considerable innovation in the Global South?
How do dominant political-economic conditions articulate and manifest in rural spaces? This question is central to grasping the contextual dynamics of agrarian change and associated contestations, conflicts and struggles.
The Emancipatory Rural Politics Initiative (ERPI) focuses on understanding the rise of 'authoritarian populism' in rural settings across the world, as well as the forms of resistance occurring and the alternatives being built. New exclusionary politics are generating deepening inequalities, jobless 'growth', climate chaos, and social division. The ERPI is focused on the social and political processes in rural spaces that are generating alternatives to regressive, authoritarian politics. 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.
How does looking at the rural U.S. from a "three rural americas" perspective helps provide a more nuanced framework for understanding the role of rural residents in current national politics, and especially in the last election?