Emancipatory Rural Politics Initiative (ERPI)

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New exclusionary politics are generating deepening inequalities, jobless ‘growth’, climate chaos, and social division. The Emancipatory Rural Politics Initiative (ERPI) is focused on the social and political processes in rural spaces that are generating alternatives to regressive, authoritarian politics.

The ERPI aims to provoke debate and action among scholars, activists, practitioners and policymakers from across the world who are concerned about the current situation, and hopeful about alternatives.


Book: Authoritarian populism and the Rural World

Open Access book, published by Taylor & Francis (2022). The book collects together 20 chapters originally published in the Journal of Peasant Studies, along with a new introduction.

Read the book

ERPI Framing Paper

The ERPI Framing Paper, Emancipatory rural politics: confronting authoritarian populism, was published as an article in the Journal of Peasant Studies.

Read the paper

Other publications

Special issues

Forum on Authoritarian Populism and the Rural World, Journal of Peasant Studies

Populism, Neoliberalism and Agrarian Movements in Europe. Understanding Rural Support for Right‐Wing Politics and Looking for Progressive Solutions
Sociologica Ruralis

Agrarian social movements: The absurdly difficult but not impossible agenda of defeating right‐wing populism and exploring a socialist future, Saturnino M. Borras, Journal of Agrarian Change

Policy Briefings

A View from the Countryside: Contesting and constructing human rights in an age of converging crises
TNI/ERPI/FIAN International Policy Issue

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Populism, authoritarianism and agrarian struggles

16 February 2022

Panel discussion on themes in recent ERPI publications, including the new book ‘Authoritarian Populism and the Rural World’.

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Authoritarian Populism and the Rural World

Authoritarian populism is on the rise, boosted by support from rural areas. A 2018 conference and series of articles examines why, and explores the alternatives: the social and political processes in rural spaces that are resisting or responding to regressive, authoritarian politics.

Event details

A feature by the online magazine openDemocracy includes video from the conference, and a list of articles by contributors to the ERPI.

Authoritarian Populism and the Rural World (openDemocracy)

Video: Rural Populism?

Is a progressive rural populism possible? This short video was produced by openDemocracy featuring participants at the conference ‘Authoritarian Populism and the Rural World’ in 2018.

Other events

‘A New Politics From The Left’
Book launch seminar with Hilary Wainwright, 31 October 2018 at Institute of Development Studies

Event details and video

Coordinating team

Ian Scoones (ESRC STEPS Centre)
Marc Edelman (CUNY)
Saturnino ‘Jun’ Borras Jr.  (Institute of Social Studies)
Wendy Wolford (Cornell University)
Ben White (ISS)
Jennifer Franco (Transnational Institute)
Lyda Fernanda (Transnational Institute)
Sergio Coronado (ISS)
Elyse Mills (ISS)
Ruth Hall (Institute of Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies – PLAAS)

The STEPS Centre provides support to the ERPI through membership of its coordinating team and communications.


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