1st Edition

Brazilian Agrarian Social Movements

Edited By Rebecca Tarlau, Anthony Pahnke Copyright 2016
    256 Pages
    by Routledge

    256 Pages
    by Routledge

    Contradictions between impressive levels of economic growth and the persistence of poverty and inequality are perhaps nowhere more evident than in rural Brazil. While Brazil might appear to be an example of the potential harmony between large-scale, export-oriented agribusiness and small-scale family farming, high levels of rural resistance contradict this vision. In this volume, individual contributions from a variety of researchers across the field highlight seven key characteristics of contemporary Brazilian resistance that have broader resonance in the region and beyond: the growth of international networks, the changing structure of state–society collaboration, the deepening of territorial claims, the importance of autonomy, the development of alternative economies, continued opposition to dispossession, and struggles over the meaning of nature. By analyzing rural mobilization in Brazil, this collection offers a range of insights relevant to rural contention globally. Each contribution in this title increases our understanding of alternative agricultural production, large-scale development projects, education, race and political parties in the contemporary agrarian context. This book was previously published as a special issue of the Journal of Peasant Studies.

    1. Understanding rural resistance: contemporary mobilization in the Brazilian countryside
    Anthony Pahnke, Rebecca Tarlau and Wendy Wolford

    2. Institutionalizing economies of opposition: explaining and evaluating the success of the MST’s cooperatives and agroecological repeasantization
    Anthony Pahnke

    3. Rural unions and the struggle for land in Brazil
    Clifford Andrew Welch and Sérgio Sauer

    4. Engaging the Brazilian state: the Belo Monte dam and the struggle for political voice
    Peter Taylor Klein

    5. Education of the countryside at a crossroads: rural social movements and national policy reform in Brazil
    Rebecca Tarlau

    6. Learning as territoriality: the political ecology of education in the Brazilian landless workers’ movement
    David Meek

    7. The Landless invading the landless: participation, coercion, and agrarian social movements in the cacao lands of southern Bahia, Brazil
    Jonathan DeVore

    8. The Brazilian quilombo: ‘race’, community and land in space and time
    Ilka Boaventura Leite

    9. Can urban migration contribute to rural resistance? Indigenous mobilization in the Middle Rio Negro, Amazonas, Brazil
    Thaissa Sobreiro

    10. Lula’s assault on rural patronage: Zero Hunger, ethnic mobilization and the deployment of pilgrimage
    Aaron Ansell

    11. Managing transience: Bolsa Família and its subjects in an MST landless settlement
    Gregory Duff Morton


    Rebecca Tarlau is a Postdoctoral Scholar in Education at Stanford University, affiliated with the Lemann Center for Educational Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Brazil. She received an M.A. and Ph.D. in Social and Cultural Studies from the UC-Berkeley Graduate School of Education and a B.A. in Anthropology and Latin American Studies from the University of Michigan. Rebecca’s research focuses on the relationship between states, social movements, and educational reform. Her scholarship engages in debates in the fields of political sociology, international and comparative education, critical pedagogy, global and transnational sociology, and social theory.

    Anthony Pahnke is currently employed as a Visiting Assistant Professor in Political Science and Environmental Studies at St Olaf College, Northfield Minnesota. He spent roughly two years in Brazil, researching state and MST practices in education, agrarian reform, and agricultural production. His interests extend beyond social movements to include political economy, state theory, and qualitative methods.