The New Agrarianism: towards new political ecologies of resource governance.

Authors: Terry Marsden*, Sustainable Places Research Institute, Cardiff University
Topics: Agricultural Geography, Resources, Rural Geography
Keywords: agri-food, rural development, political ecology, resource governance, post-carbon,
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: 8201, Park Tower Suites, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


In recent works we've advocated the development of a revised political ecology of agri-food and rural development. Here we extend this analysis by incorporating agri-food and rural development into a wider re-conceptualisation of political ecology, a confluence of a continued crisis in (financialised) neo-liberalism and a deepening global climate and resource crisis. This confluence is leading to new forms of agrarian resistance and innovation at new intersections of the agri-food/energy nexus. Using international reference points and evidence from Europe and Latin America, we develop a conceptual framework which unites theories and approaches from political ecology and peasant studies literatures, and welds these to the relatively new resource governance and transformation studies. We suggest building blocks for new post-carbon agrarian theory, placing early agrarian theory - associated with obstacles to capitalist development, distinctiveness of farm-based production of energy and foods, the disparities of labour and production time, centralisation of markets, de-peasantisation and financialisation - in a new post-carbon, and potentially post-capitalist light. This reconstructs new modernities for distributed economies in the new management of rural natures; when cosmopolitan societies need to procure most means of sustenance from the bio-sphere. The role of a hybrid and diverse agro-ecological systems is critical to envision and enact new political ecologies of resource governance. This new agrarianism needs to integrate agro-ecological production to its very reproduction through trans-local market developments, application of digital technologies and development of place-based skills and investments, bringing forth new organisational forms and processes of a more cooperative and transformative nature.

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