CfPs on Agrarian Change, IIPPE Conference 2020

The IIPPE 11th Annual Conference 2020 will be held in Ferrara, Italy between September 9 and 11. The Agrarian Change Working Group, sponsored by the Journal of Agrarian Change, calls for papers and panels under three different rubrics.


1. Agrarian Change Working Group

As the crisis of neoliberal capitalism deepens and rightwing populisms engage in a sustained effort to keep the show on the road by mobilizing pseudo-nationalism and racist discourses, a sense of urgency animates the study of agrarian social formations in this conjuncture of multi-layered crises of production, reproduction, environment, politics and ideology. In the wake of failed neoliberalism and the limited and contradictory achievements of several experiences of left-leaning governments, Agrarian Political Economy faces the challenge of providing critical analysis of the dynamics and contradictions of this conjuncture.

In rural settings, this crisis far from leading to the emergence or consolidation of alternatives to neoliberalism has allowed for the continued expansion of the power of agribusiness, the strengthening of their global commodity chains, the dominance of financial interests, and grabs of different kinds (land, water, forests). These accumulation strategies have a direct but also contradictory impact on agrarian class relations. Capitalist agrarian classes consolidate themselves while petty commodity producers, peasants and rural labourers reproduce themselves under ever more precarious conditions, which requires more than ever to have one foot in the non-agrarian economy. This is in turn changing the household strategies of social reproduction, not only by further increasing the feminization of labour but also increasing the pressures on women’s unpaid labour within households and across generations. However, some sectors of the subaltern agrarian classes have managed to insert themselves in agribusiness-led commodity chains through different economic and political strategies, benefiting from the high prices of food and post-2007 rush on commodities. Surprisingly, in contrast to what had happened during the previous crisis of neoliberalism in the 1990s, land struggles and demands for land reforms seem to have faded away from the international agenda.

This raises important questions about the processes of integration into global capitalism, peasant resistance, social conflicts in the countryside, territoriality, semi-proletarianisation and surplus populations. Are the global and local movements promoting sustainable farming practices and food sovereignty and/or indigenous autonomy leading to more sustainable ways of managing natural resources capable of mounting a challenge to neoliberalism, agribusiness and right-wing populism? Politically, the recurrent crises and instability have led to calls for, and promises of, greater role for the state in regulating economic life – but to what effect?

The agrarian change working group invites you to submit proposals for individual papers, and thematic panels. In this spirit we welcome contributions on the following themes.

  • The role of the state in processes of globalisation of agriculture and food, agrarian and agricultural policies of developing countries
  • Power and inequality in agrarian systems, class formation and social differentiation, accumulation from below and above
  • Labour and social mobilisation, class struggles in the countryside
  • Rural social movements and transnational agrarian movements, alternative networks and politics (food sovereignty, peasant and indigenous autonomy, etc.)
  • Theoretical discussions on the nature and relevance (or not) of peasant farming and politics in the context of globalisation and expansion of extractive industries
  • The contested production of food, control over food, food production systems
  • Private-led quality standards, certification, social and sustainability standards,
  • Vertical integration within commodity chains and implications for the creation and appropriation of value, emerging forms of organising production and pricing,
  • Capital upstream and downstream from agriculture, market integration, the financialisation of agriculture
  • Labour and migration, remittances and agriculture, social protection and employment schemes, informality and rural livelihoods.
  • Land reform, land restitution and redistribution, unpacking community and customary structures, land grabs and large-scale land acquisition, the development of flex-crops and agrofuels.
  • Inequalities and gender, generational, caste and race politics in agrarian formations

Abstracts of individual papers (max. 500 words) or panel proposals (max. 500 words plus abstracts of the individual papers) must be submitted via the IIPPE Webpage: The deadline is March 15, 2020.

For questions and additional information contact: Leandro Vergara-Camus (, and Jens Lerche (


2. Agrarian Change and Social Reproduction Working Groups (Joint CfP)

The Agrarian Change and Social Reproduction Working Groups invite proposals for individual papers or panels in a joint stream at IIPPE 2020 Annual Conference (Ferrara, Italy, 9-11 September). These may include theoretical and empirical contributions that focus primarily on the deployment of a social reproduction lens to consider agrarian questions. Contributions that address these questions in the context of (alternatives to) neoliberalism and populism are strongly welcome owing to the overarching conference theme.

We welcome contributions on the following themes:

  • The relationship between production and reproduction in agrarian questions
  • Interactions between markets, states and families in the rural South
  • Gender and policy change in the agricultural sector
  • ‘Doing gender’ in research on agrarian change: methodological questions and issues
  • The struggle for social reproduction in rural areas
  • Interactions of gender, labour and class in the rural economy
  • Debating the feminization of labour in agriculture
  • Gender, rural social movements and capitalism
  • Rural-urban migration through a gender lens
  • Gendered commodity chains/ production networks
  • Debating gender and land reform/ rights under global capitalism
  • The political economy of time and time-use in the rural economy
  • Gender and rural poverty

Proposals should be submitted online by 15th March 2020 here. Please tick the Social Reproduction or Agrarian Change Working Group when you make the submission and then indicate clearly under the title or abstract tab that you are submitting to this joint call. If you are submitting a panel, all papers need to be submitted individually and the relevant working groups should be informed: Hannah Bargawi (, Jens Lerche (, Leandro Vergara-Camus (, Sara Stevano (


3. Agrarian Change in Contemporary Africa (Africa and Agrarian Change Working Groups Joint CfP)

The Africa and Agrarian Change Working Groups invite proposals for individual papers or panels in a joint stream at IIPPE’s 2020 Annual Conference (Ferrara, Italy, 9-11 September). The conference this year focuses on ‘moving beyond neoliberalism and populism’ and on ‘building progressive policies and alliances for our societies and economies’.

The Agrarian Change Working Group promotes investigation of the social relations and dynamics of production, property and power in agrarian formations and their processes of change, both historical and contemporary. It encourages work within a broad interdisciplinary framework, informed by theory, and serves as a forum for serious comparative analysis and scholarly debate. The Africa working group seeks to organise activities that promote dialogue between Africa-based scholars/ scholars of Africa, and those who share an interest in radical approaches to political economy, acknowledging the power dynamics in capitalism and often with a critical Marxist perspective. In accordance with IIPPE, it seeks to reflect on and address the relationship between political economy and activism, from the importance of understanding the world in order to change it, to more direct forms of engagement with contemporary struggles and alliances.

In bringing together the interests and focus of both groups, we welcome papers and panels that relate to: theoretical and methodological questions concerning agrarian change and land questions in Africa; food regimes, agro-industry and projects of food sovereignty; labour and migration in and from rural settings; social relations of production and reproduction; class dynamics and the political economy of inequality and exploitation, whether by gender, race, ethnicity, region or other social oppressions. We are also particularly interested in analyses of social movements and alliances from an agrarian perspective. These may include analysis of productive and reproductive spheres in today’s mass uprisings and strikes over labour, democracy and climate issues, or of praxis and theorisations for an agro-ecological future.

Proposals should be submitted online by 15th March 2020 here:

Please tick the Africa or Agrarian Change Working Group when you make the submission and then indicate clearly under the title or abstract tab that you are submitting to this joint call.

If you are proposing a panel, all papers need to be submitted individually and the relevant working groups should be informed:

Africa Working Group: Hannah Cross ( and Elisa Greco (

Agrarian Change Working Group: Leandro Vergara-Camus ( and Jens Lerche (