Returning to the Land in Times of Crisis: The Origins and Outcomes of Crises in the Agro-food Regime

2018. In Jan Douwe van der Ploeg ed. The New Peasantries: Rural Development in Times of Globalization. New York: Routledge. 

The peasant condition consists of a set of dialectical relations between the environment in which peasants have to operate and their actively constructed responses aimed at creating degrees of autonomy in the face of forces that seek to impose dependency, deprivation and marginalization. These responses and this environment mutually define and shape each other; it is impossible to understand one without the other. There is no ‘external’ relation between them: they are linked by internal relations with the responses shaping the environment as much as the environment generates the responses. Such mutual articulation unfolds dynamically over time as each side of the equation impacts upon the other. One central feature of the peasant condition is that peasants’ responses focus upon constructing a resource base based on co-production between man and nature.

Tony Weis