Emancipatory rural politics I: contextualizing authoritarian populism and emancipatory rural politics

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Cultural and Political Ecology Specialty Group, Rural Geography Specialty Group, Political Geography Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/10/2018
Start / End Time: 2:40 PM / 4:20 PM (MDT)
Room: Grand Ballroom D, Sheraton, 5th Floor
Organizers: Amber Huff, Levi Van Sant
Chairs: Cheryl Morse


Deepening inequalities, socioeconomic exclusion, persistent poverty, fractured identity and loss of esteem are all features of rural areas today. All of these characteristics have been associated to differing degrees with the crises of ostensibly ‘progressive neoliberalism’ (Fraser 2017) and the rise of regressive and often contradictory forms populism (Scoones et al. 2017). ‘Authoritarian populism’ (Hall 1979, 1998) describes a broad politics, resonant with appeals to ‘the people’ and characterised by the rise in prominence of discourses of aggressive protectionism and nationalism, growing concern over the ‘other’ and a radical deregulation of private industry, while at the same time utilising state powers to privatise resources and services and increase surplus for a minority. Using conceptual tools of political ecology alongside other approaches from critical social science and radical practice, papers presented in this session explore the historical and political-economic roots the current conjuncture, the emergence of and responses to authoritarian populism in different forms and rural settings throughout the world. In different ways, presenters address key questions: How are political cultures produced, contested and resisted in diverse rural spaces? Amidst these politics, how do tensions play out along the intersecting axes of social difference like race, class and gender? How are rural landscapes and experiences shaped by and also shaping these wider politics? How is ‘emancipation’ envisioned? What is lost in dominant media narratives? This session is part of the Emancipatory Rural Politics Initiative (ERPI).

Fraser, Nancy. 2017. "The end of progressive neoliberalism." Dissent Magazine, January 2.
Hall, Stuart. 1979. "The great moving right show." Marxism Today 23 (1):14-20.
Hall, Stuart. 1998. "The great moving nowhere show." Marxism today 1 (1):9-14.
Scoones, Ian, Marc Edelman, Saturnino M Borras Jr, Ruth Hall, Wendy Wolford, and Ben White. 2017. "Emancipatory rural politics: confronting authoritarian populism." The Journal of Peasant Studies:1-20.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Introduction Amber Huff Institute of Development Studies 20 2:40 PM
Presenter Christopher Neubert*, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, Pork Politics and the Struggle for the Future in Rural Iowa: A Case Study of Emotions, Intimacy, and Authoritarian Populism 20 3:00 PM
Presenter Justa Mayra Hopma*, Department of Politics, University of Sheffield, Food Sovereignty: policy and practice in Bolivia 20 3:20 PM
Presenter Karina Benessaiah*, Arizona State University, Julia C Bausch, Florida International University, Rebecca Shelton, Arizona State University, Beyond the State: Farmers’ emancipation in Greece, Kentucky, and Mexico City 20 3:40 PM
Discussant Wendy Wolford Cornell University 20 4:00 PM

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