Marc Edelman

Marc Edelman
City University of New York - Hunter College | Hunter CUNY · Department of Anthropology

About

115
Publications
28,611
Reads
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4,269
Citations
Additional affiliations
September 1994 - present
City University of New York - Hunter College
Position
  • Professor (Full)
August 1994 - present
CUNY Graduate Center
Position
  • Professor

Publications

Publications (115)
Article
Full-text available
En muchos (aunque no todos) los instrumentos internacionales de derechos humanos, el artículo 1.º se utiliza para definir a los titulares de derechos. Las precisiones normativas de este tipo pueden ser controversiales —por ejemplo, en debates sobre quién es un “niño” en el periodo previo a la Convención sobre los Derechos del Niño—, pero también pu...
Book
Full-text available
2021 Open Access ebook edition of this Edelman and Borras book on Transnational Agrarian Movements.
Article
Full-text available
This essay introduces and invites contributions to a new Journal of Peasant Studies Forum on ‘climate change and critical agrarian studies’. Climate change is inextricably entwined with contemporary capitalism, but how the relationship between capitalism and climate change plays out in the rural world requires deeper analysis. In particular, the wa...
Article
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This essay, inspired by the huge outpouring of research generated in and around the Emancipatory Rural Politics Initiative, reflects on the challenges of analysing authoritarian populism and particularly its rural expressions. The paper first examines key features of authoritarian populism and early populist movements in the Americas and Russia. Th...
Article
Communities prosper when they are able to appropriate the wealth they produce and their institutions make peoples’ lives meaningful. They wither when the institutions that permit this weaken or vanish. Sacrifice zones — abandoned, economically shattered places, with growing social and health problems — are spreading in historically white rural area...
Article
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Free (no paywall) download: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/03066150.2019.1672665
Article
In 1957, Eric R Wolf and Sidney W Mintz published ‘Haciendas and Plantations in Middle America and the Antilles’ in the Jamaican journal Social and Economic Studies. This article discusses the production of the Wolf and Mintz article, its analytical framework and the theoretical tensions it contains, and its subsequent influence, mainly though not...
Article
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A new political moment is underway. Although there are significant differences in how this is constituted in different places, one manifestation of the new moment is the rise of distinct forms of authoritarian populism. In this opening paper of the JPS Forum series on ‘Authoritarian Populism and the Rural World’, we explore the relationship between...
Article
In this introductory article we argue for renewed attention to life and labor on and of the land—or what we call the field of Critical Agrarian Studies. Empirically rich and theoretically rigorous studies of humanity's relationship to “soil” remain essential not just for historical analysis but for understanding urgent contemporary crises, includin...
Conference Paper
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En los últimos años he tenido la oportunidad de intervenir varias veces en los debates sobre el acaparamiento de tierras y de expresar algunas inquietudes sobre la forma en la que los científicos sociales y los activistas agrarios abordan este amplio problema, que azota tanto a América Latina como a otras diversas regiones del planeta (Edelman 2013...
Article
http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/opinion/6416-when-is-a-raise-not-a-raise-the-cuny-faculty-union-deal
Book
Since the 2008 world food crisis a surge of land grabbing swept Africa, Asia and Latin America and even some regions of Europe and North America. Investors have uprooted rural communities for massive agricultural, biofuels, mining, industrial and urbanisation projects. 'Water grabbing' and 'green grabbing' have further exacerbated social tensions....
Chapter
Full-text available
The lack of historical perspective in many studies of land grabbing leads researchers to ignore or underestimate the extent to which pre-existing social relations shape rural spaces in which contemporary land deals occur. Bringing history back in to land grabbing research is essential for understanding antecedents, establishing baselines to measure...
Chapter
Full-text available
Scholars, practitioners and activists generally agree that investor interest in land has climbed sharply, although they differ about what to call this phenomenon and how to analyse it. This introduction discusses several contested definitional, conceptual, methodological and political issues in the land grab debate. The initial 'making sense' perio...
Article
http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/opinion/6228-cuny-facultys-lost-decade-a-the-risk-ahead
Book
Political Dynamics of Transnational Agrarian Movements by Marc Edelman and Saturnino M. Borras, Jr. has just been published in a UK edition (for outside North America). It will appear in a Canadian edition (for US and Canada) in April. The book offers a state-of-the-art review of scholarship on transnational agrarian social movements (TAMs), a synt...
Article
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Political reactions ‘from below’ to global land grabbing have been vastly more varied and complex than is usually assumed. This essay introduces a collection of ground-breaking studies that discuss responses that range from various types of organized and everyday resistance to demands for incorporation or for better terms of incorporation into land...
Article
Full-text available
Visions of food sovereignty have been extremely important in helping to galvanize broad-based and diverse movements around the need for radical changes in agro-food systems. Yet while food sovereignty has thrived as a ‘dynamic process’, until recently there has been insufficient attention to many thorny questions, such as its origins, its connectio...
Article
Full-text available
‘Food sovereignty’ has become a mobilizing frame for social movements, a set of legal norms and practices aimed at transforming food and agriculture systems, and a free-floating signifier filled with varying kinds of content. Canonical accounts credit the Vía Campesina transnational agrarian movement with coining and elaborating the term, but its p...
Article
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El texto explora los impactos de la triple transición (de la guerra a la paz, de la dictadura a la democracia y de un modelo de desarrollo estatalista a otro basado en el mercado, nuevas exportaciones y remesas) que ha experimentado Centroamérica desde hace tres décadas. Tomando como partida las debilidades tradicionales del modelo de desarrollo ce...
Article
Full-text available
Food sovereignty advocates are only beginning to discuss polemical issues, such as the role of long-distance trade, the implementation of relevant legal norms, and whether agroecological production can feed a growing global population. The questions of whether food sovereignty and food security are complementary or oppositional and the extent to wh...
Article
Full-text available
The lack of historical perspective in many studies of land grabbing leads researchers to ignore or underestimate the extent to which pre-existing social relations shape rural spaces in which contemporary land deals occur. Bringing history back in to land grabbing research is essential for understanding antecedents, establishing baselines to measure...
Article
Full-text available
Scholars, practitioners and activists generally agree that investor interest in land has climbed sharply, although they differ about what to call this phenomenon and how to analyse it. This introduction discusses several contested definitional, conceptual, methodological and political issues in the land grab debate. The initial ‘making sense’ perio...
Article
Full-text available
Recent research on land deals reports gigantic quantities of hectares seized, with relatively little regard for the solidity of the evidence or for considerations of scale other than area. This commentary questions the usefulness of aggregating data of uneven quality and transforming it into ‘facts’. Making claims on the basis of problematic eviden...
Article
The subtitle of this book indicates an ambition that the author only partially fulfills. Enríquez's extensive research in Nicaragua and Cuba makes for two fascinating case studies of those countries' post-1990 transitions. She concedes at one point that Russia and China serve only "as a backdrop" (p. 60) for the two Latin American cases. The Russia...
Chapter
Full-text available
Chapter
Early Life on the Left Thompson's “Anthropologies” and Anthropologists' Neglect The Moral Economy The “Migration” of Moral Economy Conclusion References
Chapter
Rural social movements are highly diverse across space and time and also include widely varying class, cultural and occupational groups. They often manifest both class and identity dimensions and cannot be described as either old or new social movements. This chapter focuses mainly on contemporarymovements of the rural poor, particularly in the glo...
Article
Full-text available
This article analyzes two convergent processes: (1) the increasing specification of the right to food in international law; and (2) the efforts of transnational agrarian social movements, notably Vía Campesina, to have the United Nations adopt an instrument on the rights of peasants. Because one-seventh of humanity suffers from hunger and because t...
Chapter
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This is the new Preface to the Turkish edition of Social Democracy in the Global Periphery, which responds to developments since the original book was published.
Article
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In the preface to this innovative, theoretically rich and provocative new book, Jan Douwe Van der Ploeg remarks that “much attention was given to the peasantry during the grand transformations of the last two centuries, and many of the resulting theories centred on the peasant as an obstacle to change and, thus, as a social figure that should disap...
Article
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The transnational agrarian social movement Via Campesina is campaigning to have the United Nations negotiate and implement a Declaration, and eventually an International Convention, on Peasants' Rights. This article analyzes the origins and demands of the campaign and the place of the claimed rights in international law. Peasant organizations hope...
Article
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Anthropologists have long been interested in capitalist development, in resistance, and in rural political movements, yet few have studied economic structural adjustment programs or the debt-related protests that are increasingly common in developing countries. In the case of a 1988 peasant “strike” in northwestern Costa Rica, structural changes co...
Article
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This article, based on interviews and documentary sources, examines the participation in the N30 anti-WTO protests of peasants and farmers and, more broadly, the dynamics of transnational protest. It argues that participation in the protests by people from the Global South was important in convincing developing-country WTO delegates to derail the t...
Article
Central America was one of the principal regions where transnational peasant organizing emerged and from which it spread in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Yet by the late 1990s the seemingly powerful transnational peasant coalitions were in disarray. Their successors have had only a modest impact since 2001. The article points to two main sources...
Article
The Rise of Transnational Agrarian MovementsHistorical AntecedentsSilences in the LiteratureCommon IssuesRepresentation Claims and AgendasPolitical Strategies and Forms of ActionsDisaggregating and Understanding ImpactsTams as Arenas of Interaction between (Sub-)National MovementsDiverse Class OriginsIdeological and Political DifferencesDynamics of...
Book
Full-text available
Readers of this book will encounter peasants and farmers who struggle at home and traverse national borders to challenge the World Trade Organization and other powerful global institutions. Studies the activists in Brazil who uproot plots of genetically modified soybeans, forest dwellers in Indonesia who chop down rubber plantations to cultivate ri...
Article
Social scientists have employed the term 'rooted cosmopolitan' in various ways; some use it to refer to individuals and groups that mobilize domestic and international resources to make claims on behalf of international actors, against external opponents or in favour of objectives they share with transnational allies. This paper examines the useful...
Article
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This essay outlines approaches to analysing and managing relations between rural activists and academic researchers. It suggests (a) that contemporary social movements engage in knowledge production practices much like those of academic and NGO-affiliated researchers and (b) that the boundaries between activists and researchers are not always as sh...
Chapter
Full-text available
Full text available at: http://docs.eclm.fr/pdf_livre/336SocieteCivileMondiale.pdf
Article
Central America was one of the principal regions where transnational peasant organizing emerged and from which it spread in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Yet by the late 1990s the seemingly powerful transnational peasant coalitions were in disarray. Their successors have had only a modest impact since 2001. The article points to two main sources...
Article
This essay introduces a special issue of the Journal of Agrarian Change on transnational agrarian movements (TAMs). The contributors’ methods and subjects vary widely in geographical, temporal and political scope. The contributors to this collection share an understanding of TAMs’ complexity that grows out of an appreciation of the complicated hist...
Chapter
"Development" is a slippery concept that has attracted attention from an astonishing array of scholars. This essay explores the Enlightenment roots of debates about development; the clash of radical and mainstream paradigms such as twentiethcentury theories of imperialism, modernization, and dependency; and the rise of economic neoliberalism. Anthr...
Book
Social Democracy in the Global Periphery focuses on social-democratic regimes in the developing world that have, to varying degrees, reconciled the needs of achieving growth through globalized markets with extensions of political, social and economic rights. The authors show that opportunities exist to achieve significant social progress, despite a...
Book
Full-text available
Social Democracy in the Global Periphery focuses on social-democratic regimes in the developing world that have, to varying degrees, reconciled the needs of achieving growth through globalized markets with extensions of political, social and economic rights. The authors show that opportunities exist to achieve significant social progress, despite a...
Article
Full-text available
Social democracy assumes that unregulated markets produce unacceptable levels of inequality, suffering and injustice, and require a democratically-directed State action in order to redistribute income and foster a more egalitarian society. But to this end, Third World countries do not necessarily have to follow the classic European model. This arti...
Article
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To succeed, social-democratic movements in the global South must steer a course toward a society without poverty or social exclusion, avoiding two current utopian projects. The first utopia is a neoliberal fantasy, the self-regulating market. In the words of Karl Polanyi in The Great Transformation, this "would result in the demolition of society,"...
Article
Full-text available
James Scott's The Moral Economy of the Peasant (1976) appeared at a time when “peasant studies” had begun to occupy an important place in the social sciences. The book's focus on Vietnam, as well as its novel argument about the causes of rural rebellion, attracted widespread attention and unleashed acerbic debates about peasants' “rationality” and...
Chapter
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Full text available at: http://www.gcsknowledgebase.org/wp-content/uploads/2003Chapter8.pdf
Article
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Theories of collective action have undergone a number of paradigm shifts, from "mass behavior" to "resource mobilization," "political process," and "new social movements." Debates have centered on the applicability of these frameworks in diverse settings, on the periodization of collective action, on the divisive or unifying impact of identity poli...
Article
Full-text available
In 1919, when Carlos Gagini penned this two-sentence definition of hulero for a dictionary of “Costa Rican-isms,” he matter of factly specified murderousness, slaving, terrorism, and Nicaraguan nationality as intrinsic characteristics of rubber tappers. Few other entries in Gagini's compilation reveal so tellingly a key implicit objective of the co...
Article
Full-text available
This article has three basic objectives: to analyze thee formation, practice, and discourse of the principal regional peasant organization in Central America, the Asociacion Centroamericana de Organizaciones Campesinas para la Cooperacion y el Desarrollo (ASOCODE), which has member coalitions in all seven countries of the isthmus - to consider what...
Article
This article examines the political impact of economic structural adjustment (ESA) on the peasantry in Costa Rica, a country with a long history of both liberal democratic politics and state participation in the economy and social welfare. After briefly discussing the 1980s Costa Rican economic crisis and the effect of free-market economic structur...
Article
The Dawn of the World, one of the great classics in American Indian oral literature, was collected from Miwok Indian peoples at the turn of the century by a natural scientist. C. Hart Merriam, famous in biology as well as anthropology, heard these myths and legends of the Miwok Indians of central California at a time when original cultural memories...
Article
AguilarIrene and SolísManuel, La Elite Ganadera en Costa Rica (San José: Editorial de la Universidad de Costa Rica, 1988), pp. x + 178, $10.00. - Volume 21 Issue 1-2 - Marc Edelman
Article
This article, based on research carried out in 1982 at the agrarian reform project called "La Esperanza' (canton of Santa Cruz, Guanacaste province), analyzes illegal renting of land by reform beneficiaries and offers some observations about the ways in which the type of agricultural development characteristic of northwestern Costa Rica encourages...
Article
Examines Soviet perceptions of Nicaragua's Sandinistas and Sandinista perceptions of both the Soviet Union and the United States in the period prior to the 1979 defeat of Somoza. Outlines the development of post-1979 Soviet-Nicaraguan military relations and discusses the ways in which the US-sponsored contra war has contributed to forging closer So...

Projects

Project (1)
Archived project
A leading journal in the field of rural politics and development, The Journal of Peasant Studies ( JPS) provokes and promotes critical thinking about social structures, institutions, actors and processes of change in and in relation to the rural world. It fosters inquiry into how agrarian power relations between classes and other social groups are created, understood, contested and transformed. JPS pays special attention to questions of ‘agency’ of marginalized groups in agrarian societies, particularly their autonomy and capacity to interpret – and change – their conditions. See: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/fjps20/current