La Vía Campesina

Globalization and the Power of Peasants

By Annette Aurélie Desmarais  

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In 1993, 46 farm leaders from various countries met in Mons, Belgium, determined to develop a strategy to challenge the devastation caused to their communities by a neoliberal international economic agenda. Over the next decade they and millions of peasants and small-scale farmers around the world used La Vía Campesina to forge a powerful and radical force of opposition. Where did they find the capacity and strength to challenge multinational agribusiness corporations and international institutions whose power and influence increasingly dictate national government policy? This book accompanies La Vía Campesina in a struggle to keep people on the land, producing food and culture, and building viable communities.

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Contents

  • Introduction:  Where Have All the Peasants Gone—Long Time Passing”
  • Modernization and Globalization—The Enclosure of Agriculture
  • Peasants and Farmers Going Global
  • “The WTO… Will Meet Somewhere, Sometime. And We Will Be There!”
  • A Fine Balance: Local Realities and Global Actions
  • Co-operation, Collaboration and Community
  • Reflections on the Meanings of the La Vía Campesina

Authors

  • Annette Aurélie Desmarais

    Annette Aurelie Desmarais was a farmer for 14 years. She has a MA in Gender and Development from the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex and received a PhD in Geography from the University of Calgary. She is currently Associate Professor in the International Studies Program at the University of Regina. Her key areas of research are food sovereignty, globalization and agrarian change, rural social movements and social justice, development theory and practice, gender and international development. She is currently involved in on-going research with the international peasant and farm movement, La Vía Campesina.

    Annette’s book La Vía Campesina: Globalization and the Power of Peasants was nominated for the Chadwick F. Alger Award and the Lionel Gelber Prize; it has been published in French, Spanish and Italian. She was awarded the Eric Wolf Prize by the Journal of Peasant Studies (JPS) for the article entitled “The Vía Campesina: Consolidating an International Peasant and Farm Movement.”

    Annette is a member of the International Advisory Board of the Journal of Peasant Studies and the Editorial Board of Human Geography. She is a Research Associate with the Centro de Estudios para el Cambio en el Campo Mexicano (CECCAM), Mexico City. Annette is also on the Advisory Committee of the Centre Europe - Tiers Monde (CETIM, Geneva) and the Resource Rights Advisory Committee-Grassroots International Resource Rights for All, and is an Advisor to the International Programme Committee of the National Farmers Union.