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The Emancipatory Rural Politics Initiative: Launch Event
May 24 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Seminar & launch event with Ruth Hall (Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies) and Ian Scoones (Institute of Development Studies/STEPS Centre). All welcome – registration is not required.
Deepening inequalities, failed livelihoods, mass (under)employment, climate chaos, and racist anti-immigrant attacks characterise many settings across the world. Forms of ‘progressive neoliberalism’ have failed to stem disillusionment, disenfranchisement and marginalisation. The rise of populist, nationalist movements has been one very visible response. These may aim to ‘take back control’ in favour of ‘the people’, or put one ideology ‘first’, while excluding others, generating tensions across society. All are responses to crises in contemporary capitalism, yet they are rooted in specific histories, institutional and social structures and political dynamics.
Yet the reactions to exclusionary politics are incredibly diverse, across and indeed within countries. In the Emancipatory Rural Politics Initiative (ERPI), we are interested in changes ongoing in rural areas that both give rise to a particular form of politics, but also offer alternatives. ERPI seeks to foster a debate about regressive, authoritarian politics as well as alternatives, documenting, analysing and theorising these in order to advance new emancipatory politics that challenge exclusionary, violent and populist visions. In this launch event, we will discuss briefly the 3 core themes of the Initiative – understanding the current conjuncture: rural roots and consequences; resisting, organising and mobilising for an emancipatory rural politics; and understanding, supporting, creating, deepening and scaling up alternatives. ERPI builds on the successful Land Deals Politics Initiative (LDPI), and will initiate a small grants programme to encourage research and action, linking to a number of planned events in the coming year.
For more information about ERPI, see the Institute of Social Studies website.
Ruth Hall is a professor at the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa, and has worked on land reform, land rights and land governance in South Africa and beyond. Ian Scoones is a Professorial Fellow at IDS, and co-director of the ESRC STEPS Centre. Both are founding members of LDPI and ERPI.