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.
ERPI is starting a Working Paper series, supported by a limited number of small grants, to allow for the writing up of original research. In parallel they 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.
Brazil has recently undergone a shift from economic growth to recession, as well as from a left-wing, neo-developmentalist politics to one on the far-right, authoritarian and economically ultraliberal. Such an economic and political U-turn touched upon the countryside in contrasting ways. This paper reflects on the politics of the past. It suggests that the road to regression was paved during the tenure of the Worker’s Party (PT), when politics were considered both popular and progressive. And it was under the PT’s rule when the ‘rural world’ mattered the most for politics.
The stretch from Bakersfield to Arvin, California in Kern County, California reveals a great deal about the role of “Big Ag” and “Big Oil” in the wave of authoritarian populism that brought Trump to political power in 2016.
In January - February 2016, 8,058 former members of the Fajar Nusantara Movement (Gafatar) were forcibly removed from several locations in Kalimantan, Indonesia where they had established egalitarian agrarian settler communities.
On March 17th and 18th, more than 250 scholars, activists, practitioners, and policymakers—representing more than 60 countries from diverse parts of the world—will gather at the International Institute of Social Studies in The Hague to share views and insights on the rise of authoritarian populism and its effects. This resurgence of exclusionary politics—particularly manifested in the countryside—is generating deepening inequalities, jobless 'growth', climate chaos, and social division.