Dr. Oliveira publishes a special issue of the Canadian Journal of Development Studies

Authoritarianism, Populism, Nationalism and Resistance in the Agrarian South

Dr. Oliveira’s article “Authoritarianism, Populism, Nationalism and Resistance in the Agrarian South” has just been published as the guest editor’s introduction to a special issue the Canadian Journal of Development Studies.

The article is co-authored with Ben McKay and Juan Liu, who also co-edited the special issue.

ABSTRACT: This special section contributes to the vibrant debates concerning the “new political moment” underway with regards to “authoritarian populism” and nationalism in the agrarian South. With neoliberal globalisation in crisis, nationalist-populist and authoritarian movements are gaining ground, often transforming state and class configurations in ways that appease landed, agro-industrial and political elites, while simultaneously seeking to neutralise forms of resistance. Rather than starting from an ambiguous concept that submerges these class conflicts and contradictions, we argue that re-centering class struggles that frame the new political moment offers a more useful framework for understanding agrarian transformation in the contemporary period.

KEYWORDS: Authoritarianism, populism, nationalism, resistance, agrarian change


The Canadian Journal of Development Studies is a peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary, bilingual (English and French) forum for critical research and reflection on the complex problems of international development theory, policy and practice. Founded in 1980, the CJDS remains the only Canadian scholarly journal devoted exclusively to the study of international development. It is published quarterly by the Canadian Association for the Study of International Development.

For the full-length article, see: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02255189.2020.1814707 

Dr. Oliveira presents his research at the Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)

Video of lecture at UFRRJ, July 31, 2020

Video of lecture at UFRRJ, July 31, 2020

Dr. Oliveira published in the Edward Elgar Handbook of Critical Agrarian Studies

BRICS and Global Agrarian Transformations

Gustavo de L. T. Oliveira and Ben McKay

Dr. Oliveira’s co-authored chapter “BRICS and Global Agrarian Transformations” has just been accepted for publication in the The Handbook of Critical Agrarian Studies, edited by Haroon Akram-Lodhi, Kristina Dietz, Bettina Engels, and Ben McKay , edited by Matthew Himley, Elizabeth Havice, and Gabriela Valdivia. The edited volume is forthcoming from Edward Elgar.


Understanding the rise of emerging economies like the BRICS is central to analysis of contemporary global agrarian transformations. Yet it is not simply their associated geopolitical transformations that call attention from, and provide new insights for critical agrarian studies. The point is not to debate whether new agribusiness companies and development models from the BRICS are a success of resistance to the Global North, or a new sub-imperialist project against middle-income and the least developed countries. Instead, these global agrarian transformations must be rooted in the conflicts and contradictions within emerging economies themselves, as subaltern actors struggle for food sovereignty and agroecology in a protracted struggle against neoliberal elites, populist authoritarianism, and conservative nationalist movements. Our goal here is not to fully describe and analyze these struggles and their repercussions for global agrarian change, but rather to emphasize that such conflicts and heterogeneities are the most fruitful springboard for new insights in critical agrarian studies. Debates that focus upon “global convergence”, “multipolarity” and “new development paradigms” but understate grounded socio-ecological struggles and transformations (cf. West 2014; Reeves 2018) are misguided and misplaced in the social sciences in general, and critical agrarian studies in particular. As climate change advances further and the socio-ecological foundations of human life become increasingly more unstable and vulnerable, new theories, methodologies, and debates are required. The dramatic transformation of the global political economy of food and farming due to the rise of the BRICS is fertile ground for the cultivation of such new ways of thinking, and critical agrarian scholars from these regions are stepping up to the task at hand, inviting colleagues who remain snagged in the provincial terms of bygone scholarship rooted in fallen and decaying empires.

More information on the The Edward Elgar Handbook of Critical Agrarian Studies will be available shortly.

Author’s original manuscript of the chapter available here.

Dr. Oliveira presents at the symposium on Politics in Contemporary Brazil, UC Irvine

“The diseases of Brazil-China agroindustrialization.”

Dr. Gustavo de L. T. Oliveira, Department of Global and International Studies, UC Irvine

Invited presentation to the symposium Politics in Contemporary Brazil, organized by the Jack W. Peltason Center for the Study of Democracy and Latin American Studies Center, University of California Irvine.

Social and Behavioral Science Gateway 1511, 9:00 am – 4:15 pm, February 3, 2020.

This one-day workshop brings together Brazilian scholars focused on some of the pressing issues in the country through the lenses of political science. It offers diverse accounts about democracy, public policy, reforms and contemporary issues in a country that has experienced major political changes over the past decade. Since 2013, Brazil has witnessed massive street protests, profound political polarization, a presidential impeachment, corruption scandals, deep economic crisis and the rise of far-right populism. The workshop looks at this changing context in order to shed light on a myriad of topics of Brazilian Politics.

Dr. Oliveira’s presentation sketches a new direction for research in global political ecology and public health, examining the myriad ways in which the process of agro-industrialization that has deepened through Brazil-China economic integration is associated with increasing prevalence of plant, animal, and human diseases.


For further information contact Ricardo Fabrino Mendonça: ricardofabrino@hotmail.com