Peasants' rights and agrarian violence in transitional settings: From transitional justice to transformative agrarian justice

Eric T. Hoddy*

*Corresponding author for this work

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This article addresses why the rights of peasants and agrarian violence matter to justice promotion work that seeks to lay the groundwork for future peace and stability. Its central contention is that although rural people have participated in transitional justice processes, the field is yet to engage with peasants as a distinct social group, with the social, economic, and political issues they face, and with agrarian structures and processes that underlie ongoing violence against them. The article argues that peasant rights and agrarian violence matter in light of four rural trends: Peasants in post-transition societies are routinely exposed to complex patterns of direct and indirect nonwar violence; justice interventions may be expected in societies in which there have been large-scale agrarian protests; the root causes of conflict are frequently located in structures and processes of agrarian change; and rural grievances associated with poverty and marginalization are facilitating and enabling the rise of authoritarian populism. The article reflects on the demands these trends create for research and practice, arguing that developing responses to agrarian violence favors a radical, more transformative approach to agrarian justice that engages with wider agrarian political economies and issues of class and gender.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-109
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Human Rights
Issue number1
Early online date28 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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