Research, Political Engagement and Dispossession

Indigenous, Peasant and Urban Poor Activisms in the Americas and Asia

Edited by Dip Kapoor and Steven Jordan


How social science research can make a positive contribution to local political struggles

This collection considers academic research engagements with indigenous, small peasant, urban poor and labour social activism against colonial capitalist dispossession and exploitation in Asia and the Americas.

Bringing together contributors from a range of different disciplines, Research, Political Engagement and Dispossession demonstrates how research done for and with these struggles against dispossession by mining, agribusiness plantations, conversation schemes, land-forest grabs, water projects, industrial disasters and the exploitation of workers and forced migrants, can make productive contributions towards advancing their social and political prospects.

Author Bio

Dip Kapoor is a professor in international development education at the University of Alberta, Canada. He is also a board member at the Center for Research and Development Solidarity (CRDS), an organisation in Odisha, India which advocates for peasant and Adivasi-Dalit communities. His previous books include NGOization (Zed 2013) as well as the edited collections Beyond Colonialism, Development and Globalization (Zed 2015) and Against Colonization and Rural Dispossession (Zed 2017).

Steven Jordan chairs the Department of Integrated Studies in Education (DISE) at McGill University, Canada. He also currently serves on the editorial board of the Canadian Journal of Action Research. His previous books include the collection Education, Participatory Action Research and Social Change (co-edited with Dip Kapoor, 2009).

Table of Contents

  •  Research for indigenous, peasant and urban poor activism: Capital, dispossession and exploitation in the Americas and Asia - Dip Kapoor & Steven Jordan
  • Part I: Research and Indigenous and Peasant Activisms
    • 2.The MST and research with and for landless peasant-worker struggles in Brazil - Alessandro Mariano & Rebecca Tarlau
    • 3.Critical oral histories and the pedagogies of dispossession and resistance in Brazil's Landless Workers’ Movement - David Meek
    • 4.Participatory research for social change in mining and agribusiness settings in Colombia - Irene Vélez-Torres  
    • 5.Anticolonial Participatory Action Research (APAR) in Adivasi-Dalit forest-dweller and small peasant contexts of dispossession and struggle in India - Dip Kapoor
    • 6.Conservation and palm oil dispossession in Sumatra and Sulawesi: Third-Worldist PAR, indigenous and small peasant resistance and organized activisms
    • Hasriadi Masalam
    • 7.PAR, local knowledge and peasant assertions in Southwestern Bangladesh: Taking back the river in contexts of NGO-led dispossession - Bijoy Barua (East-West University, Bangladesh)
    • 8.Grassroots-oriented research as political engagement for social justice: Exposing corporate mining in indigenous contexts in the Philippines - Ligaya McGovern
  • Part II: Research and Urban Poor Activisms
    • 9.Countering dispossession through cooperativisation? Waste-picker ethnography, activism and the state in Buenos Aires (Argentina) and Montevideo (Paraguay) - Santiago Sorroche & Patrick O’Hare  
    • 10. Historians, guerilla history and class struggle in Argentina - Pablo Pozzi  
    • 11.Public sociology and scholar activism in the U.S.-Filipino Labor diaspora - Robyn Rodriguez  
    • 12.The Bhopal (India) struggle and neoliberal restructuring: Research, political engagement and the urban poor - Eurig Scandrett & Shalini Sharma
    • 13.Praxis-oriented research for the building of grounded transnational Marriage Migrant Movements in Asia - Hsiao-Chuan Hsia


'Rich in insights from practical experience, this book is essential reading for everyone who aspires to make decolonized academic knowledge serve people resisting dispossession and the silencing of their voices'
John Gledhill, University of Manchester

‘This is a truly compelling, timely, urgent volume. The complex chapters remind us of the academic obligation to engage the class struggle.’
Michelle Fine, author of Just Research in Contentious Times

‘This book is both a critical resource for evaluating research methods, and for thinking about the power and politics of struggle.’
Lesley Wood, York University, Toronto


Publication Date: 25 March 2021
328 pages

Product ISBNs: Paperback: 9781786994417
Hardback: 9781786994400
eBook ePub: 9781786994431
eBook PDF: 9781786994424
eBook Kindle: 9781786994448

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