Blog

The JAC Blog hosts posts on agrarian and rural issues, both contemporary and historical.

It covers book reviews, photo essays, research essays and field notes. We welcome blog submissions.

Autonomy in agrarian studies, politics & movements: An inter-paradigm debate

July 4, 2022

KEES JANSEN & LEANDRO VERGARA-CAMUS   Autonomy has been a word that has been rolling off the tongues of leftist activists and academics for decades and has been the subject of countless articles and books. It has been theorised from Marxist, Anarchist, Post-Marxist, Foucauldian and Feminist perspectives. Historically, the term autonomy has often been used…

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The Bernstein & Byres Prize in Agrarian Change 2020

June 27, 2022

LIAM CAMPLING, CRISTÓBAL KAY, JENS LERCHE, BRIDGET O’LAUGHLIN, CARLOS OYA, JONATHAN PATTENDEN AND HELENA PÉREZ NIÑO   We are pleased to announce that Martín Arboleda has been awarded the 2020 Bernstein & Byres Prize for his article ‘Towards an agrarian question of circulation: Walmart’s expansion in Chile and the agrarian political economy of supply chain capitalism’, Journal of Agrarian Change, 2020, vol.…

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Book Review: Mythri Jegathesan’s Tea & Solidarity

March 23, 2022

JAYASEELAN RAJ   Tea and Solidarity is a fascinating monograph by Mythri Jegathesan that examines the lives of tea-plucking women and their families as they seek work outside the Sri Lankan plantations. It provides a powerful description of their struggle for a dignified life within and outside the plantations, what Jegathesan calls their ‘desires for…

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AQs Shorts: Shapan Adnan

February 24, 2022

Our new AQs Shorts features Shapan Adnan. He speaks about the impact of state violence against Rohingyas on the dynamics of agrarian change in Myanmar as well as its implication for our understanding of dispossession, primitive accumulation and the agrarian question of labour. As part of this, he also reflects on the survival strategies of…

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Contract farming in the developing world: a political economy approach

January 10, 2022

A new special issue in the Journal of Agrarian Change (Vol. 22, Issue 1) takes stock of critical developments in the political economy of contract farming.

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AQs Shorts: Lyn Ossome

November 30, 2021

In our new AQs Shorts view, Lyn Ossome discusses the impact of neoliberal globalization on labour relations in the global South, especially in relation to forms of labour organizing.

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‘Finance going farming’: A review essay

October 23, 2021

In recent years, land has once again received a great deal of attention in critical agrarian studies. The most recent ‘land rush’, which began in 2008, has forced issues surrounding land to centre stage, not only in the Global South but also in the Global North.

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AQs Shorts: Haroon Akram-Lodhi

October 1, 2021

The seventh part of our AQs Shorts series features Haroon Akram-Lodhi. He discusses the role of culture in shaping agricultural productivity in eastern and southern Africa and how we may approach the intersections between gender and class in agrarian political economy.

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AQs Shorts: Carla Gras

August 29, 2021

In our new video for the AQs Shorts series, Carla Gras speaks about the challenges of capital accumulation in the Chaco region in Argentina and the strategies used by corporate agribusiness to overcome these challenges. She also reflects on how agribusiness expansion in shaping labour regimes, social differentiation and social reproduction. Carla Gras is Senior…

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Marx in the Field (Anthem, 2021): Book Launch Video

August 5, 2021

Marx in the Field has been edited by Alessandra Mezzadri, Senior Lecturer Development Studies, SOAS. The book launch was organized on June 11th, 2021 as a friendly conversation between her and the contributors, who include Henry Bernstein, Barbara Harriss-White, Muhammad Ali Jan, Susan Newman, Adam Hanieh, Ben Selwyn, Satoshi Miyamura, Farai Mtero, Brittany Bunce and…

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AQs Shorts: Vikas Rawal

July 23, 2021

In our fifth AQs Shorts video, Vikas Rawal speaks about the historic farmers’ protests in India – the role of a prolonged agrarian and employment crisis and of neoliberalism in giving rise to the protests as well as their social, class and regional basis. Vikas Rawal is Professor of Economics at the Jawaharlal Nehru University,…

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Who is a farmer in India?

June 30, 2021

SEJUTI DAS GUPTA AND ISHITA MEHROTRA The farmers’ protests in India since November 2020 has resurrected the question ‘who is a farmer?’, and with it, the agrarian political economy exercise of identifying rural classes and examining their nature. In classical agrarian political economy scholarship in India, the capitalist classes or the rural rich are variously…

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AQs Shorts: Teo Ballvé

June 20, 2021

Our fourth video in the AQs Shorts series features Teo Ballvé. He speaks about how narco capital accelerates processes of agrarian change in the Colombian countryside, especially through land dispossession and deforestation, and about his concepts of ‘narco-frontiers’ and ‘Magical Marxism’. Teo Ballvé is Assistant Professor in Peace and Conflict Studies and Geography at Colgate…

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Book Review: Penelope Anthias’ Limits to Decolonization

May 25, 2021

ENRIQUE CASTAÑÓN BALLIVIÁN   Limits to Decolonization is a rich ethnographic account of an indigenous struggle for territorial recognition in a context of intensifying extractivism. It traces the historical demand of Guaraní communities to regain control of their ancestral territory in the Bolivian Chaco where most of the country’s gas extraction takes place. While the…

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AQs Shorts: Lucilla Salvia

April 1, 2021

In the third video for our interview series ‘AQs Shorts‘, Lucilla Salvia discusses how agricultural commodity chains in central Italy have been reconfigured under neoliberalism and its implications for labour relations and labour contracting. And she reflects on whether the term ‘modern slavery’ is applicable to these labour relations. Lucilla Salvia teaches at ‘La Sapienza’…

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AQs Shorts: Tania Li

February 20, 2021

In the second video for our interview series AQs Shorts, Tania Li reflects on the nature of ‘development’ ensuing as a result of corporate plantations and agribusinesses, on the question of ‘surplus populations’ and smallholders for the agrarian question, and class differentiation – all drawing on her work on oil palm plantations in Indonesia. Tania…

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The Bernstein & Byres Prize in Agrarian Change 2019

February 6, 2021

LIAM CAMPLING, CRISTÓBAL KAY, JENS LERCHE, BRIDGET O’LAUGHLIN, CARLOS OYA, JONATHAN PATTENDEN AND HELENA PÉREZ NIÑO We are pleased to announce that Sébastien Rioux has been awarded the 2019 Bernstein & Byres Prize for his article ‘Capitalist food production and the rise of legal adulteration: Regulating food standards in 19th‐ century Britain’, Journal of Agrarian…

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AQs Shorts: R Ramakumar

January 6, 2021

Agrarian Questions is pleased to announce a new series of short video interviews with eminent and emerging scholars in the field of agrarian political economy, AQs Shorts. In our first interview, R Ramakumar speaks about the multi-dimensional impact of COVID-19 on the Indian countryside, on the nature of India’s agrarian crisis (differentiated by crop, class,…

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Peasant politics, criminal persecution and authoritarianism in Colombia

December 21, 2020

SERGIO CORONADO   The irregular arrest of three renowned leaders of the agrarian social movements in Colombia needs to be analysed as a counter-reaction against the recent wave of contentious politics in the countryside. It also points to increasing authoritarianism in Colombian politics. On December 15th and 16th 2020, three well-known defenders of Colombian land…

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Land questions in the 21st Century Postcolony

November 8, 2020

M VIJAYABASKAR   Labour may have become less relevant to capital accumulation in the 21st century as scholars like Sanyal, Li and Ferguson suggest. The recent spate of literature on ‘land grabs’ has, however, made the role of land in capital accumulation much more visible now than it was in the latter half of the last…

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