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In any time and space and under any circumstance, we find peasants are never passive actors in their livelihoods and rural development. Instead, they always create space…
In any time and space and under any circumstance, we find peasants are never passive actors in their livelihoods and rural development. Instead, they always create space for manoeuvre in order to make changes. This chapter analyses the innovative actions taken by the majority of rural inhabitants in rural areas during the overwhelming modernization process, so as to affirm that peasants are the main actors of rural development. It is they who have shaped the transformation of rural societies and the history. Through the analysis, this chapter concludes that rural development is not an objective, a blueprint nor a design. It is not the to-be-developed rear field in modernization. It is not the babysitter for cities, nor a rehearsal place for bureaucrats to testify their random thoughts. Rural development is what peasants do. The path they have chosen reveals scenery so different from modernization. If we regard development as a social change, or a cross with influential meanings, we could understand rural development as peasants’ victories over their predicament. Villages accommodate not only peasants, but without peasants villages would surely vanish. In this sense, the most important part in rural development or rural change is peasants – their conditions and their feelings.
Peasants play a key role in the processes of growth and development of rural areas. But the practices and the organizational forms or arrangements can be very different in…
Peasants play a key role in the processes of growth and development of rural areas. But the practices and the organizational forms or arrangements can be very different in relation to the context or territory of origin. This has resulted in a multiplicity of solutions unlikely to be repeated in other sectorial or scientific context. This heterogeneity of responses allows the peasants model to strengthen the resilience of rural areas and offer itself as an alternative model of agricultural modernization paths increasingly ineffective in managing the modern complexity. This is a common element that emerges in all experiences of rural development in Brazil, China, and Europe, which are compared in this book. In addition to this, this chapter highlights some commonalities that can be used to delineate the attributes of the new peasantry and its consolidation and dissemination in space and time.
Fighting the drought. Based on this idea, for almost two centuries now the Brazilian State has elaborated policies and programmes intended to stimulate rural development…
Fighting the drought. Based on this idea, for almost two centuries now the Brazilian State has elaborated policies and programmes intended to stimulate rural development in the semiarid region of the country. It is this idea which has nourished the illusion that immense infrastructures need to be built to capture, store and transport large volumes of water in order to supply production activities in the region. Associated with this proposal is the attempt to reproduce the same pattern of development adopted in other Brazilian biomes, the main characteristic of which is the use of monoculture practices on large properties managed according to entrepreneurial modes of production. However the rich social experience promoted by rural worker organizations in the region has challenged this model by proposing living with the semiarid (Convivência com o Semiárido) as the guiding principle for alternative trajectories of development. Inspired by the experience of territorial development under way in the Agreste da Borborema region of Paraíba state, the chapter shows that the evolution of these new paths of development depends on revitalizing and mobilizing locally available resources, such as ecological potentials, social mechanisms for organizing labour and for producing and sharing knowledge, local forms of connecting food production to consumption and so on. The text concludes by emphasizing the need to design and implant institutional frameworks that enable a more balanced distribution of power between the State and civil society organizations, thereby allowing the latter to assume a more substantial role in identifying and managing endogenous resources that underpin self-centred development strategies.
The purposes of this paper are to explore how the cluster entrepreneurship of peasant households in the Chinese forest zone develops, and to analyze how the influence of…
The purposes of this paper are to explore how the cluster entrepreneurship of peasant households in the Chinese forest zone develops, and to analyze how the influence of kinship and geopolitical relations can effectively construct a mechanism for the growth of cluster entrepreneurship.
The case study method was chosen to analyze the growth process of this cluster entrepreneurship (e.g. raising chickens in Zhenghe, planting tea in Anxi and cultivating fruit in Taizhou).
The authors found that the trust, learning and driving mechanisms of cluster entrepreneurship were influenced by kinship and geopolitical relationships, and were included in the building of the growth mechanism of such cluster entrepreneurship, as has emerged. Further, in the building of this evolution mechanism, three paths of growth were found: financial support, the introduction of technology and the introduction of management.
This paper enriches the understanding of how cluster entrepreneurship develops in the socioeconomic environment of the Chinese forest zone, with particular reference to kinship and geopolitical relations, and how these contribute to the growth mechanism of cluster entrepreneurship, which is important for the management of entrepreneurial activities in that habitat.
This chapter gives several explanations as to why peasant agriculture results in sturdy and sustainable growth – it also identifies the factors that undermine this…
This chapter gives several explanations as to why peasant agriculture results in sturdy and sustainable growth – it also identifies the factors that undermine this capacity. Peasant agriculture entails a constructive capacity: it includes mechanisms that are used to make agriculture grow and to face adverse conditions. And when the ‘normal’ level of resilience does not suffice, the constructive capacity is employed to redesign and materially rebuild agriculture through the development of new products, services and markets. This capacity leads to a new farmer’s empowerment that have in the multifunctionality the key to go beyond the classical agricultural system where the farming capacity is completely expressed out of the farm leaving farmers to do only mechanical operation. The chapter illustrates several examples of how farmers are reclaiming control over their own resources by defining a new level of farm autonomy and by oriented their farm towards multifunctional activities and the concept of peasants agriculture. The ‘new peasantry’ is consolidating itself and becoming a highly effective alternative: a viable way of addressing the multifaceted crisis that beleaguers farmers, the increasing strictures they face and the ongoing challenges of sustainability.
The chapter focuses on rural-urban food links in the context of governance. We seek to understand a rural-urban innovator mechanism is emerging through the food system and…
The chapter focuses on rural-urban food links in the context of governance. We seek to understand a rural-urban innovator mechanism is emerging through the food system and the renewed question of proximity and relative autonomy in the alimentary supply of this type of space and local society. We present case studies from Paris and Budapest metropolitan rural areas exploring institutional and private actors of governance, their power networks, food and related cultural components of rural-urban relations, the function of food links and the way in which they are governed. We have found several differences in governance methods between the Paris and Budapest metropolitan ruralities. The areas surrounding Paris are characterised by multi-level governance methods. However, an isolated form of rural governance of the rural-urban local food link can be identified in Budapest’s rural areas. Understanding the complex and dynamic interaction of food links and related activities within metropolitan areas offers the possibility of a far greater understanding of the complex and multiple links between sustainability, renewal of social interaction and cohesion.
From a more general point of view the initiatives and novel practices of farmers represent ‘seeds of transition’. They are the ‘sprouts’ out of which new socio-technical…
From a more general point of view the initiatives and novel practices of farmers represent ‘seeds of transition’. They are the ‘sprouts’ out of which new socio-technical modes for organizing production and marketing emerge – ‘sprouts’ that, taken together can be described under the term ‘rural development’. The examples are, on the whole, well-known; they include agro-ecological production, on-farm processing, agro-tourism, new credit associations and cooperative forms of commercialization. But it remains important to develop a more sociological interpretation of these new forms: since they are produced by social actors and are constantly redefined and modified through the relations and interactions implied by these new forms. This chapter defines the outline on actors and practices that will be discussed in later chapters of the book.
Most of the literature on the World Bank struggles to understand precisely how effective are the Bank’s projects and policies, emphasizing at the same time as reaffirming certain universal parameters with which to measure the good and the bad. This article, by contrast, argues for a different way of seeing the World Bank, that is, for scholarship that interrogates the political rationalities which underlie these distinctions and categories and which make these parameters and measures viable, necessary, and enduring. Indeed, most writings – including the innumerable self‐evaluations carried out by the Bank – simultaneously note the enormity of the Bank’s past misdeeds as well as its unique position as the only global institution up to the monumental task of translating global truths into global plans of action. Because of its unique role as the global development expert, the Bank is always two steps ahead of the pack, always re‐assessing and re‐tooling for improvement in ways that most national and international institutions cannot. Who else can respond so quickly to catastrophes around the globe – appearing one month in Thailand, the next in Argentina, and, in a bomb’s flash, in Afghanistan and Iraq? In a world in which global crises routinely erupt and “require” global experts of development to resolve them, the Bank and its affiliates in the World Bank Group have no rivals. But, rather than ask why the Bank’s responses are ultimately insufficient or flawed, we must first ask how problems get defined in terms of global crises and their solutions in terms of global development institutions in the first place? How did these ideas and institutions become so influential? What power dynamics do they embody?
This book is the result of a selection of papers presented in the seminar held in Beijing in 2012. It is the third in chronological order of a seminar series on the…
This book is the result of a selection of papers presented in the seminar held in Beijing in 2012. It is the third in chronological order of a seminar series on the comparative analysis of rural development in China, Brazil, and the EU. In previous seminars (2010 in Rome, 2011 in Porto Alegre) the focus was, first, on the nature and dynamics of rural development processes and, second, on the performance of rural development policies. In the third seminar (held in Beijing in November 2012), the focus was on actors and practices. What motivates the actors who are actively involved in rural development? And how do they structure their new practices? In this chapter, different stories on rural development practices between China, Brazil, and the EU are illustrated, highlighting the differences and also commonalities and similarities. In this story, the figure of the peasant appears crucial and in different dimensions: from the manager of natural resources who takes the greatest care of their condition in order to achieve the largest profits; to the innovator who builds on age old methods to find novel solutions with the available conditions, resources, and technologies, and who creates the right synergies for harmonious and positive impact solutions; to the rural villager who does with what he/she has and knows, but who at the same time is curious about innovations; to the father who is aware that he is responsible for building a future for his children. Peasant agriculture seems to go beyond its own limits through a transition process that has led to a paradigm shift moving away from the modernization and creating new opportunities and alternatives in terms of practices, products, and markets. These alternatives are now representing the base for a new autonomy and competitiveness of rural areas in an increasingly globalized world.