"If farmers expect society to help protect them against the crushing effect of surpluses, they must be prepared to protect society by working out permanent arrangements for storing of reserve food supplies. Both farmers and non-farmers have a responsibility to each other, and any dodging of this responsibility by either group is likely to end in disaster.” Former US secretary of agriculture Henry A. Wallace
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?
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.
Right-wing populists have been gaining support throughout Europe. Their nationalist and xenophobic outlook that seeks to reassert national glories has found a great support among rural communities in many countries. Although, right-wing populism is not an exclusively rural phenomenon, its popularity among European countrymen is alarming.
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.