Agata Hummel

Grant Type

Post PhD Research Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Warsaw U.

Grant number

Gr. 9734

Approve Date

October 23, 2018

Project Title

Hummel, Dr. Agata, U. of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland - To aid research on 'Rural Self-management Initiatives and Public Policies. A Conceptualization of Neo-peasants'

AGATA HUMMEL, University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland, was awarded funding in October 2018 to aid research on “Rural Self-management Initiatives and Public Policies. A Conceptualization of Neo-peasants.” The research analyses neo-peasant initiatives in Catalonia in terms of a social movement constituted around the image of the traditional Catalan peasant, the pagès, envisioned as a kind of small-scale farmer with a high degree of self-sufficiency. The neo-peasant movement in Catalonia emerged to resist the productivist model of agriculture by proposing a peasant way of life through its discourse, peasant-like agricultural practices and social networks. This peasant imaginary, however, does not correspond to the idea of an agricultural enterprise promoted by public policies that rather stimulate productivism-oriented agricultural model which includes such characterisctics as industrialization, commercialization, intensification, specialization of agriculture, increase in the use of biochemical inputs and corporate involvement in the sector. The analysis shows that the public regulations that originate from the productivist logic impose limitations on the neo-peasant lifestyle and activities. These constraints may be well illustrated by the different conceptualizations of the notions of “peasant” (cat. pagès) and “farmer”. More precisely, power relations, domination and resistance strategies are revealed when the grassroots concept of “peasant” and its related imaginary is juxtaposed with the figure of “professional farmer” defined by public institutions in the context of rural policy.