The economic and political rise of the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) has far-reaching implications for global agrarian transformation as key sites of production, circulation and consumption of agricultural commodities. In each of the BRICS countries, profound changes are underway in rural society and agrarian economies. These vary from concentration in landholdings, changes in rural-urban links, migration, promotion of smallholder farming alongside the rise of corporate agribusiness, class differentiation of smallholders and family farmers, new forms of agri-business upstream and downstream of farming, vertical integration in value chains, supermarketization – and different combinations of these. The BRICS initiative in Critical Agrarian Studies (BICAS) is a collective of largely BRICS-based or connected academic researchers concerned with understanding the BRICS countries and their implications for global agrarian transformations. Critical theoretical and empirical questions about the origins, character and significance of complex changes underway need to be investigated more systematically.
At the Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) in October, Asian governments should not take any lessons on democracy or economics from the European Union. We have to make common cause between Asian and European social movements, because we are all losing out from current policies.
This framework document aims to outline the principal ideas, arguments and core concepts that have developed over the long and rich process of the work driven by the Europe Latin America & Caribbean bi-regional Network Enlazando Alternativas and by the Permanent Peoples' Tribunal over the past five years.
A new government in the Philippines offers the country a rare window to fundamentally shift away from failed economic policies, subordinate to neoliberal ideology and the pre-eminance of illegitimate foreign debtors.