Call for Participation and or Papers: The Emancipatory Rural Politics Initiative Call for Conference Participation/Conference Papers

Abstract Deadline: 15 November 2017 

We are calling for papers on three subthemes, to be presented at the conference 17-18 March 2018 'Authoritarian Populism and the Rural World' on 17-18 March 2018

The Emancipatory Rural Politics Initiative (ERPI), of which TNI is a member, 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.

To debate these themes, we are organizing an international conference on the theme of 'Authoritarian Populism and the Rural World' on 17-18 March 2018 at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) in the Hague, Netherlands. Confirmed plenary speakers include: Michael Watts, Dzodzi Tsikata, John Gaventa, Katherine Cramer, Burak Gurel, Eduardo Gudynas, Issa Shivji (tbc), Raj Patel (tbc). There will be more, to be announced soon, so keep a lookout on our social media accounts! Today, we are announcing the call for papers: more details are below.

You can read more about the ERPI in the framing paper, available here. Please note the three sub-themes which will also be the key sub-themes of the conference:  
(i) The current conjuncture: rural roots and consequences; 
(ii) Resisting, organising and mobilising for an emancipatory rural politics; (iii) Alternatives: understanding, supporting, creating, deepening and scaling.

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We have just concluded our first round small grants competition. After receiving more than 400 applications from all over the world, we are happy to announce the winners of the 2017-2018 ERPI Small Grants competition! You can find a complete list of all of the winners, their abstracts and bios on the ERPI website.

A few things:

(1) The small grants competition winners – as well as those others applied and who have been invited to prepare ERPI Working Papers but did not receive grants (profiles will be posted on the ERPI website soon) - will hopefully all attend the conference to discuss their papers. Your places are guaranteed. As you can see from the list of grant winners, there will be a great group of people present! 

(2) If you (and colleagues) would also like to present a paper at the conference, please send us your abstract by 15 November 2017: 350 word abstract and 150 word short bio in one Word file. We will decide on the applications by 20 November. Full papers are due no later than 15 January 2018. Papers will be circulated openly a month before the 17-18 March 2018 conference.
Please submit your abstract to with the subject: "abstract submission'. We are especially encouraging collaborations between researchers and activists. We also invite suggestions for presentations in diverse media and formats, not just standard academic paper formats. Be inventive, and surprise us!

(3) Unfortunately we do not have sufficient funds to pay for travel and accommodation costs of participants. The modest funds we have are committed to some of the plenary speakers and select paper authors coming from the Global South.

(4) Once we have decided on the conference participants with papers, we will release a Call for Participation for those who do not have paper to present. We will launch this Call in late November.

For queries, you can get in touch with any member of the coordinating collective or send an email to

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