The Department of Global Studies' Colloquium Series is a lecture series, which has been made possible by the generosity of the Orfalea Endowment for the Master's Program in Global Studies.  The Colloquium Series strives to open and explore a wide range of interdisciplinary debates and their interaction and engagement with the global, hosting new guest speakers each quarter from UCSB and beyond.  The upcoming event will be hosted via Zoom on Wednesday, January 19th at 12:30pm. Zoom link is (Meeting ID: 842 4656 4996). Please see below for the featured talk:


Jun Borras, Transnational Agrarian Movements and Land Stuggles

Chair: Ricado Jacobs, Global studies UCSB

The politics of land – who gains access to and control over a range of land and associated resources, how, how much, why, for what purposes, and with what implications? – have returned to the center-stage of global development discourse and practice. The last time this is the case was during a good part of the 20 th century, book-ended by the 1910 Mexican Revolution, on one end, and the 1979 Sandinista Revolution and the 1980 political settlement that ended the Rhodesian war, on the other end. Land was a central element in national development aspirations and anti-colonial struggles, capitalist or socialist, as well as in the Cold War. That era ended once neoliberalism gained momentum in the early 1980s. But in recent years, especially in light of the global land rush, the politics of land is back – but in a very different global context marked by overlapping climate crisis, the rise of the far-right, the exponential increase of a global working class in precarious condition, a chronically hungry population of a billion, financialization of agriculture and nature, the rise of big nature conservation groups, rapidly changing geopolitics – and the rise of militant transnational agrarian movements (TAMs). Land access and control are fiercely contested in an unprecedented intensity, extent, and ways. How is the constellation of social forces engaged in such fierce battle over land emerging? This presentation is a preliminary look at this key question – seen through the dynamics of transnational agrarian movements’ land-related campaigns. It connects the discussion to Erik Olin Wright’s typology of anti-capitalist struggles in the 21 st century and Nancy Fraser’s recent formulation of anti-capitalist and trans-environmental struggles, partly by arguing for the urgent task of building the trans-agrarian component of such anti-capitalist struggle front.



Saturnino (Jun) M. Borras Jr. is a professor of agrarian studies at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) in The Hague, adjunct professor at the College of Humanities and Development Studies of China Agricultural University in Beijing, and a Fellow of the Transnational Institute in Amsterdam. He has been deeply involved in agrarian movements since the early 1980s, and was part of the early period of building La Via Campesina and was a member of its International Coordinating Commission in 1993-1996. His latest articles include The global climate of land politics, Climate change and agrarian struggles, and Rurally rooted cross-border migrant workers from Myanmar, Covid-19, and agrarian movements.



For more information about the Colloquium Series, please contact Professor Jan Nederveen Pieterse, Global Studies Colloquium Director:


Event Details

  • Jamileth Rodriguez
  • James Schenck

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