The economic and political rise of the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), and powerful middle-income countries (MICs) such as Argentina, Indonesia and Turkey, has far-reaching implications for global agrarian transformation. These countries are key sites of agricultural commodity production, distribution, circulation and consumption and are contributing to major shifts in the character of agro-food systems.
This comprehensive collection explores these issues through the lens of critical agrarian studies, which examine fundamental social change in, and in relation to, rural worlds. The authors explore key themes such as the processes of agrarian change associated with individual countries within the grouping, the role and impact of BRICS countries within their respective regions, the role of other MICs within these regions and the rising importance of MICs within global and regional agro-food systems. The book encompasses a wide variety of case studies, including the expansion of South African agrarian capital within Africa; Brazil as a regional agro-food power and its complex relationship with China, which has been investing heavily in Brazil; the role of BRICS and MICs in Bolivia’s soy complex; crop booms within China; China’s role in land deals in Southeast Asia; and Vietnamese investment in Cambodia.
This book will be of interest to students and researchers of critical agrarian studies, with a focus on BRICS and MICs. It was originally published as a special issue of the journal Globalizations.
Table of Contents
1. BRICS, middle-income countries (MICs), and global agrarian transformations: internal dynamics, regional trends, and international implications Ben Cousins, Saturnino M. Borras Jr., Sérgio Sauer and Jingzhong Ye 2. Exporting contradictions: the expansion of South African agrarian capital within Africa Ruth Hall and Ben Cousins 3. The ambiguous stance of Brazil as a regional power: piloting a course between commodity-based surpluses and national development Sérgio Sauer, Moisés V. Balestro and Sergio Schneider 4. Agrarian trajectories in Argentina and Brazil: multilatin seed firms and the South American soybean chain Clara Craviotti 5. Control grabbing and value-chain agriculture: BRICS, MICs and Bolivia’s soy complex Ben M. McKay 6. The agrifood question and rural development dynamics in Brazil and China: towards a protective ‘countermovement’ Fabiano Escher, Sergio Schneider and Jingzhong Ye 7. Chinese land grabs in Brazil? Sinophobia and foreign investments in Brazilian soybean agribusiness Gustavo de L. T. Oliveira 8. Land control and crop booms inside China: implications for how we think about the global land rush Saturnino M. Borras Jr., Juan Liu, Zhen Hu, Hua Li, Chunyu Wang, Yunan Xu, Jennifer C. Franco and Jingzhong Ye 9. Holding corporations from middle countries accountable for human rights violations: a case study of the Vietnamese company investment in Cambodia Ratha Thuon 10. Framing China’s role in global land deal trends: why Southeast Asia is key Elyse N. Mills
Ben Cousins holds a DST/NRF Research Chair at the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa.
Saturnino M. Borras, Jr. is Professor of Agrarian Studies at the International Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, the Netherlands; Adjunct Professor in the College of Humanities and Development Studies (COHD) at China Agricultural University (CAU), Beijing, PR China; and a Fellow of the Transnational Institute, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Sergio Sauer is Professor for the Post Graduate Program for Environment and Rural Development in the Centre for Sustainable Development at the University of Brasilia, Brazil. He has a research scholarship from CNPq, Brasilia, Brazil.
Jingzhong Ye is Professor and Dean of the COHD at CAU, Beijing, PR China.