Philip McMichael, Development Sociology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853-7801, USA. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Peasants Make Their Own History, But Not Just as They Please . . .
Version of Record online: 25 APR 2008
© 2008 The Author. Journal compilation © 2008 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Journal of Agrarian Change
Volume 8, Issue 2-3, pages 205–228, April 2008
How to Cite
MCMICHAEL, P. (2008), Peasants Make Their Own History, But Not Just as They Please . . . Journal of Agrarian Change, 8: 205–228. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-0366.2008.00168.x
I am grateful to Dia Da Costa, Gayatri Menon, Raj Patel, Hannah Wittman and Wendy Wolford for each of their insightful comments on an earlier version of this paper.
- Issue online: 25 APR 2008
- Version of Record online: 25 APR 2008
- food sovereignty;
- peasant movement;
- social reproduction;
This essay employs contemporary peasant mobilizing discourses and practices to evaluate the terms in which we understand agrarian movements today, through an exercise of historical specification. First, it considers why the terms of the original agrarian question no longer apply to agrarian change today. The shift in the terms corresponds to the movement from the late-nineteenth century and twentieth century, when states were the organizing principle of political-economy, to the twenty-first century, when capital has become the organizing principle. Second, and related, agrarian mobilizations are viewed here as barometers of contemporary political-economic relations. In politicizing the socio-ecological crisis of neoliberalism, they problematize extant categories of political and sociological analysis, re-centring agriculture and food as key to democratic and sustainable relations of social production.