Sauer S., Meszaros G. Land struggle in Brazil under the Workers’ Party governments // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2020. V.5. №1. P. 93-124.
The article considers the state agrarian policy during the presidency of Lula da Silva (2003–2010) and Dilma Rousseff (2011–2016). This policy was controversial: on the one hand, the Workers’ Party has always supported land reforms and social movements in the agrarian sphere, but, on the other hand, it began to make political and electoral alliances with large agribusiness. Therefore, more than a decade of generally progressive activities determined only insignificant changes in the implementation of key government programs. In some cases, there were even outright failures such as attempts to expand land expropriation to provide landless family farms with land. The political cycle ended with the collapse of electoral alliances and with the impeachment of Rousseff in 2016, which proved political and tactical failures of the Workers’ Party. The article considers government decisions, historical causes of land conflicts, struggles for land and territory, challenges in mobilizing supporters in this struggles. The authors emphasize the content of political discussions (especially under the criminalization of social movements which makes them illegal), economic disputes about the role of agribusiness, and the fierce struggle for land and territorial rights under the progressive governments of the Workers’ Party.
Brazil, Workers' Party, agrarian reform, rural poverty, social movements, agribusiness
About the authors
Sauer Sérgio, PhD (Sociology), Professor, University of Brasilia (UnB). 70.847-080 SQN 406, Bl. H, Apt. 305, Brasilia/DF, Brazil.
Meszaros George A., PhD (Sociology), Professor, University of Warwick, School of Law, Coventry CV4 7AL, United Kingdom.