Shifting cultivation is a form of agro-forestry in which the cultivation of annual agricultural crops is combined with fallowing long enough for trees to grow before the plot is cultivated again. Why is shifting cultivation so controversial, and why do different stakeholders hold such divergent views - for some a valuable and honourable tradition but for others virtually a criminal activity?
Can a president institute radical popular change alongside structural inequality and a militarized elite? The Brazilian case suggests that a progressive political party requires more social movement mobilization, not less.
Jun Borras, Jennifer Franco, Clara Mi Young Park, Mads Christian Barbesgaard, Yukari Sekine, Ye Lin Myint, Thant Zin
02 March 2018
Dominant approaches to climate change mitigation are putting new pressures on small farmers and village dwellers, justifying dispossession by powerful actors who cast villagers' traditional ways of life as ecologically destructive or economically inefficient. In order to address the twin challenges of agrarian justice and climate justice, it is critical to understand the way new conflicts and initiatives intersect with old conflicts and the way they are compounded by undemocratic settings, and inequality and division along fault-lines of gender, ethnicity, class, and generation.
Global pressure on land and natural resources is mounting, with mainstream narratives about climate change often intensifying pressure to replace so-called "inefficient" users of land, including small farmers and pastoralists with market-based dynamics and actors. This dynamic makes the pursuit of socially just land policy ever more important and urgent, while at the same time creating new challenges. The fundamental connections and tensions between agrarian and climate justice must be reckoned with, and movements on both sides must deepen their understanding.
Sacrifice zones – abandoned, economically shattered places – are spreading in historically white rural areas and small towns across the United States. Rural decline fosters regressive authoritarian politics.
The island of Bali is home to a rich and unique system of agriculture, based around traditional water management systems developed over the last 1200 years. However, growing pressure from the expansion of the tourist trade as well as the effects of climate change are putting these systems at risk. Farmers are fighting to preserve their livelihoods and maintain a base for local food sovereignty in Bali, but significant changes to policy and practice are needed to protect their rights to land, water, and seed.
Ian Scoones, Jun Borras, Lyda Fernanda Forero, Ruth Hall, Marc Edelman, Wendy Wolford, Benjamin White
31 January 2018
Religion, gender dynamics, place and cultural identity – all inform rising authoritarian populism in rural areas, alongside class interests and inequalities. Mobilising alternatives to capture by regressive political forces is not straightforward.
'Climate smart agriculture' has become the buzz phrase at high level international policy discussions. Will it be the latest manifestation of greenwashing of unsustainable industrial agriculture or the basis for developing real, grassroots-led, resilient food systems?
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.
Academics and activists come together to discuss who, how and with what social, economic and ecological implications we will feed the world. Together we will deepen our shared analysis, feed our curiosity, and work towards a shared vision of just and sustainable food systems.
What is governance? There are different definitions, but it can be conceived as the way that authority is exercised. Governance is networked, globalised, territorialised and differentiated. Governance has different objectives for different actors and actor networks. While it is a contested concept, globally governance is becoming increasingly financialised, and in some cases this includes land governance.
Land politics and the social movements mobilizing around land have changed profoundly, inspiring a new generation of scholar-activists. Professor Saturnino ('Jun') M. Borras explores land politics, agrarian movements and scholar-activism in his inaugural lecture at the International Institute for Social Studies.