AAG Tampa CFP: ‘Resilient Peasants’: Agrarian Questions in an Era of Global Climate Change

“Resilient Peasants”: Agrarian Questions in an Era of Global Climate Change


Alejandro Camargo (Department of Geography, Syracuse University, USA)

Jennifer West (Center for International Climate and Environmental Research
– Oslo, Norway)

Despite Karl Kautsky’s (1899) assertion that peasants are more susceptible
to the unpredictable changes of the market than they are to weather
variations, it is clear that rural producers today are exposed and
responding to variations in both market and climatic conditions whose
origins and impacts stretch from the very local to the global. A
combination of factors, including climatic and market variability, are
altering rural societies and landscapes in many countries, leading to
situations of heightened food insecurity, natural resource conflicts,
migration, and crises in rural labour, on the one hand, and to changing
geographies of agricultural investments, opportunities, and profits, on the
other.  Climate adaptation and mitigation policies and rural resilience
initiatives are receiving prominent attention in this context as a
potential antidote to unsustainable resource use patterns and
overconsumption in the North, and as a means of alleviating rural poverty
and vulnerability in the Global South. According to this logic, rural men
and women are called upon to be resilient and to adapt to climate change.
But despite the apolitical framing of these initiatives, they may lend
implicit support to the expansion of green capitalism and market-oriented
rural development projects in the countryside, shaping national agrarian
development pathways and local peasant livelihoods in dramatic ways.
Presenters are invited to critically discuss how rural men and women
experience the environmental and political forces of global climate change,
and how these forces interact with local, national and global dynamics of
agrarian and green capitalism.  Some of the questions this panel will
address are: In what ways are adaptation and resilience policies promoting
the penetration of different forms of agrarian and green capitalism into
the countryside? How are climate change policies and discourses shaping the
way in which peasants procure their livelihoods and mobilize politically?
How are climate change policies articulating with, reconfiguring, or
exacerbating structural agrarian problems such as the concentration of
land, the industrialization of agrarian production, and the crisis of
agriculture at large? How are rural societies adopting, resisting, or
negotiating adaptation to climate change policies and resilience

Please send abstracts of no more than 250 words to facamarg@syr.edu by
November 20th, 2013.

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