Handbook of Critical Agrarian Studies


Handbook of Critical Agrarian Studies

9781035318889 Edward Elgar Publishing
Edited by A. Haroon Akram-Lodhi, Department of International Development Studies, Trent University, Canada, Kristina Dietz, Department of International Relations with a focus on Latin America, University of Kassel, Bettina Engels, Otto Suhr Institute of Political Science, Department of Political and Social Sciences, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany and Ben M. McKay, Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, University of Calgary, Canada
Publication Date: 2023 ISBN: 978 1 03531 888 9 Extent: 744 pp
Exploring the emerging and vibrant field of critical agrarian studies, this comprehensive Handbook offers interdisciplinary insights from both leading scholars and activists to understand agrarian life, livelihoods, formations and processes of change. It highlights the development of the field, which is characterized by theoretical and methodological pluralism and innovation.

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Critical Acclaim
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Exploring the emerging and vibrant field of critical agrarian studies, this comprehensive Handbook offers interdisciplinary insights from both leading scholars and activists to understand agrarian life, livelihoods, formations and processes of change. It highlights the development of the field, which is characterized by theoretical and methodological pluralism and innovation.

The Handbook presents critical analyses of, and examines controversies about, historical and contemporary social structures and processes in agrarian and rural settings from a wide range of perspectives. Chapters explore the origins of critical agrarian studies, the concepts underpinning the diverse theoretical approaches to the field, and the strengths and weaknesses of different methodologies used within the field. Finally, it illuminates debates around the topic and trajectories for future research and development.

This will be a vital resource for graduate students, scholars and activists interested in critical agrarian studies. The analytical and empirical insights will also be helpful to students of environmental and development studies as well as agricultural and development economics, human geography and socio-cultural anthropology.
Critical Acclaim
‘This impressive Handbook captures and reflects the vibrancy of, and will propel further, the rapidly expanding field of critical agrarian studies. It is an indispensable reference in the field for students, teachers, researchers, policy experts, and activists.’
– Saturnino M. Borras Jr., International Institute of Social Studies, the Netherlands and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Peasant Studies

‘The Handbook of Critical Agrarian Studies is a magnificent field-building achievement. Ambitious and comprehensive, it marks the coming of age of critical agrarian studies, with first-rate contributions from foundational thinkers and emerging stars on everything from agroecology and land, to financialization, territoriality, extractivism, migrant labour, and dozens of other topics.’
– Marc Edelman, Hunter College and The Graduate Center, City University of New York

‘Critical agrarian studies is not a sentimental journey into the past but ways of rethinking how the dynamics of agrarian change reflect and shape some of the most important issues of our time. In these creative and thoughtful short chapters, leading scholars provide new angles on familiar questions such as land ownership, the ways we eat, agrarian extractivism, ecological crisis and rural social movements and on many new issues as well. Authors also lead readers through current debates and introduce them to the particular methodological problems of agrarian studies.’
– Bridget O’Laughlin, International Institute of Social Studies, the Netherlands and Co-Editor of the Journal of Agrarian Change

''The Handbook of Critical Agrarian Studies is an excellent and solid work that takes us through the foundational and current debates of this research field, its main concepts and methodological approaches, the intersection of the agrarian question with environmental, territorial, techno-science and financialization issues, among other topics. An essential reference book.’
– Carla Gras, Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas, Argentina

‘This Handbook will surely become the point of departure for anyone planning research on agrarian issues from a critical perspective. The 72 contributions – most by well-regarded experts in the field—provide both succinct literature reviews and substantive insight on a broad range of relevant topics. Some of the chapters, such as on The Agrarian Question, Land Grabs, and Feasible Utopias are superb. Whether for clarification of key concepts or to grasp the contours of current debates, the Handbook will be useful to students, researchers, those teaching in the field, as well as policy advocates and activists.’
– Carmen Diana Deere, University of Florida, US
Contributors: Lincoln Addison, A. Haroon Akram-Lodhi, Samir Amin, Bimbika Sijapati Basnett, Sara Berry, Mattias Borg Rasmussen, Ulbe Bosma, Ray Bush, Liam Campling, Robert Chernomas, Priscilla Claeys, Jennifer Clapp, Carol J. Pierce Colfer, Nicholas Copeland, Sergio Coronado, Ben Cousins, Federico Demaria, Annette Aurélie Desmarais, Kristina Dietz, J. Paul Dunne, Franza Drechsel, Bettina Engels, Irmak Ertör, Jennifer C. Franco, Harriet Friedmann, Julien-François Gerber, Ariane Goetz, Elisa Greco, Severin Halder, Derek Hall, Wendy Harcourt, John Harriss, Barbara Harriss-White, Elizabeth Havice, Ian Hudson, Carol Hunsberger, Markus Ihalainen, S. Ryan Isakson, Muhammad Ali Jan, Kees Jansen, Praveen Jha, Petr Jehlička, Joost Jongerden, Cristóbal Kay, Benedict J. Tria Kerkvliet, Markus Kröger, Brian Kuns, Xavier Lafrance, Johanna Leinius, Christian Lund, Facundo Martín, Giuliano Martiniello, Nils McCune, Ben M. McKay, Philip McMichael, Sofía Monsalve Suárez, Avanti Mukherjee, Ryan Nehring, Andrea J. Nightingale, Gustavo de L.T. Oliveira, Gerardo Otero, Carlos Oya, Prabhat Patnaik, Utsa Patnaik, Jonathan Pattenden, Nancy Lee Peluso, Pauline E. Peters, Helena Pérez Niño, Jan Douwe van der Ploeg, Oliver Pye, Smriti Rao, Peter Rosset, Arnim Scheidel, Matthew A. Schnurr, Annie Shattuck, Jasber Singh, Maristella Svampa, Larry Swatuk, Marcus Taylor, Robin Thiers, Chiara Tornaghi, Eric Vanhaute, Henry Veltmeyer, Boris Verbrugge, Leandro Vergara-Camus, Oane Visser, Michael Watts, Tony Weis, Ben White, Paris Yeros, Qian Forrest Zhang

Foreword xxiii
Tania Murray Li
Acknowledgements xxv
1 An introduction to the Handbook of Critical Agrarian Studies 1
A. Haroon Akram-Lodhi, Kristina Dietz, Bettina Engels and Ben M. McKay

2 Frontiers, regimes and learning from history 9
Ulbe Bosma and Eric Vanhaute
3 Origins of peasant studies 15
Harriet Friedmann
4 The diversity of classical agrarian Marxism 25
A. Haroon Akram-Lodhi and Cristóbal Kay
5 Debates on the historical origins of agrarian capitalism 34
Xavier Lafrance
6 An alternative perspective on the agrarian question in Europe and in the
developing countries 45
Utsa Patnaik

7 The agrarian question 53
Michael Watts
8 Class 67
Sara Berry
9 Land 72
A. Haroon Akram-Lodhi
10 Frontiers: Commodification and territorialization 80
Mattias Borg Rasmussen and Christian Lund
11 Labour 91
Jonathan Pattenden
12 Labor and social reproduction 99
Smriti Rao
13 Peasants 109
Jan Douwe van der Ploeg
14 Gender 120
Avanti Mukherjee
15 Gender, nature, body 131
Andrea J. Nightingale and Wendy Harcourt
16 Kinship 139
Pauline E. Peters
17 Generation 150
Ben White
18 Intersectionality 157
Carol J. Pierce Colfer, Markus Ihalainen and Bimbika Sijapati Basnett
19 Merchant and usurer’s capital 165
John Harriss
20 Agricultural markets 171
Muhammad Ali Jan and Barbara Harriss-White
21 Financialization 178
Jennifer Clapp and S. Ryan Isakson
22 Agrarian law 187
Sergio Coronado
23 Territoriality 197
Annie Shattuck and Nancy Lee Peluso
24 Agrarian/land reform 205
Ben Cousins
25 Food regimes 218
Philip McMichael
26 Crisis 232
Robert Chernomas, Ian Hudson and A. Haroon Akram-Lodhi
27 Food sovereignty, food security and the right to food 238
Priscilla Claeys, Annette Aurélie Desmarais and Jasber Singh

28 Qualitative research 251
Elisa Greco
29 Quantitative analysis 258
J. Paul Dunne
30 Geographical research 266
Oliver Pye
31 Questions and answers 272
A. Haroon Akram-Lodhi

32 The agrarian question in Africa: Past, present and future 279
Samir Amin
33 Social movements in times of extractivism: The ecoterritorial turn in
Latin America 285
Maristella Svampa
34 Agrarian change in China: Historical origins and competing perspectives 296
Qian Forrest Zhang
35 Beyond confrontation: Silent growers, symbiosis and subtle peasantness
in post-socialist Eurasia 305
Oane Visser, Brian Kuns and Petr Jehlička
36 BRICS and global agrarian transformations 316
Gustavo de L.T. Oliveira and Ben M. McKay
37 Neoliberalism and the crisis in India’s countryside 324
Prabhat Patnaik
38 Crises of capitalism in the countryside: Debates from the South 334
Praveen Jha and Paris Yeros

39 Land grabs 346
Ariane Goetz
40 Water for agriculture 357
Larry A. Swatuk
41 Biofuels 366
Carol Hunsberger
42 Industrial fisheries and oceanic accumulation 374
Elizabeth Havice and Liam Campling
43 Forests and current transitions 387
Markus Kröger
44 Artisanal and small-scale mining 401
Boris Verbrugge and Robin Thiers
45 Footloose labour 410
John Harriss
46 Contract farming 416
Helena Pérez Niño and Carlos Oya
47 Biotechnology 427
Matthew A. Schnurr and Lincoln Addison
48 Agroecology 438
Nils McCune and Peter Rosset
49 Identities and culture in the rural world 453
Nicholas Copeland
50 Everyday politics in agrarian societies 463
Benedict J. Tria Kerkvliet
51 The state and rural politics 469
Leandro Vergara-Camus
52 Experts, land regimes and the politics of mapping 480
Facundo Martín
53 Rural social movements/transnational agrarian movements 491
Giuliano Martiniello
54 Industrial agriculture and agrarian extractivism 503
Ben M. McKay and Henry Veltmeyer
55 Rural dispossession and capital accumulation 515
Derek Hall
56 Ecological crises in the rural world 525
Marcus Taylor
57 Microfinance and rural financial inclusion 536
Marcus Taylor
58 Rural indebtedness 547
Julien-François Gerber
59 The neoliberal diet 556
Gerardo Otero
60 Meatification 561
Tony Weis
61 Digital agriculture 568
Kristina Dietz and Franza Drechsel
62 COVID-19 581
A. Haroon Akram-Lodhi

63 The interface of critical development studies and critical agrarian studies 594
Henry Veltmeyer
64 Political ecology 601
Kristina Dietz
65 Pluriloguing postcolonial studies and critical agrarian studies 610
Johanna Leinius
66 Agrarian justice: Land, human rights and democratization 620
Jennifer C. Franco and Sofía Monsalve Suárez
67 Strategic linkages between STS and critical agrarian studies 630
Ryan Nehring
68 The Capitalocene response to the Anthropocene 636
Kees Jansen and Joost Jongerden
69 Degrowth in agrarian and fisheries studies 647
Arnim Scheidel, Irmak Ertör and Federico Demaria
70 Reconfiguring the intersection between urban food movements and
agrarian struggles: Building an urban political agroecology praxis 656
Chiara Tornaghi and Severin Halder
71 Radical transformation: Creating alternatives to capitalism in the countryside 666
Kristina Dietz and Bettina Engels
72 Feasible utopias 676
Ray Bush

Index 689
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