Monday, 21 November 2011

Call for Papers: Globalization, Climate Change and Rural Resilience

Globalization, Climate Change and Rural Resilience: The Challenge of Sustainable Development in the Caribbean and Beyond. May, 9-11, 2012, Kingston, Jamaica

The English-speaking Caribbean will start celebrating 50 years of independence in 2012.  In reviewing the past 50 years and anticipating the next 50, the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute for Social and Economic Studies (SALISES) has implemented an initiative entitled Fifty-Fifty: Critical Reflections in a Time of Uncertainty. Within this context, an initiative supported by C-Change Canada Caribbean, has been launched to foresight the future face of agriculture and rural spaces for Caribbean states and plan for their resilience in the face of many uncertainties, including those associated with Climate Change.

The Caribbean region contains one of the world’s largest concentrations of vulnerable small island and mini-states all faced with the common challenge of sustaining their development processes in the face of climate change and special socio-ecological constraints. Rural spaces in these states (which typically reflect the highest intra-state poverty rates), are especially challenged by a spectrum of changes, ranging from climate induced changes in the ecosystem to socioeconomic impacts such as the triple F crises (global food, fuel and financial shocks). Effectively addressing these challenges will require multiple approaches to sustainable development.  As the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has stated in their recent rural poverty report:
Putting a proper appreciation of risks and shocks at the center of a new agenda for rural growth and development requires a multipronged approach. On the one hand it involves strengthening the capacity of rural people to manage risk…. and develop new strategies. On the other hand, it requires that the conditions that they face be made less risky…
Small states are, however, especially challenged to respond to the asymmetric and competitive pressures of globalization given, in particular, the structural and political vulnerabilities they have inherited from their peculiar legacy of development.

In light of these trends and vulnerabilities, research is needed to provide answers to many questions.  How best can we equip rural people, as well as vulnerable populations and groups in these island states, to manage such risks? What imaginations and strategies are needed in order to reduce the profile of risks faced and support the resilience of small states seeking to make the most of their opportunities and progress in a risk fraught global development process? Half a century is a short time in the history of a region, yet it is sufficiently long to begin stocktaking. Indeed, how successful have the new nations been in improving the quality of life for their citizens dwelling in ‘rural spaces?’ And how far away are these states from achieving ‘rural resilience,’ defined as “the capacity of a rural region to adapt to changing external circumstances in a way that a satisfactory standard of living is maintained, while coping with the ecological, economic and social vulnerability?”

This conference is motivated by the possibilities opened up when applying resilience thinking for analyzing, evaluating and coming to grips with the post independence challenges facing small states operating in today’s risk-fraught global systems. The following areas represent the major themes on which papers and panels are invited. We encourage cross-disciplinary proposals for panels and individual papers around these themes, reflecting on the independence experience for Caribbean and other small states, and looking forward to the next half century.

  1. Globalization, Climate Change, and the Future of Rural Development? What methodologies, innovation strategies and strategic planning approaches are required for rural resilience to climate change in small states? How does globalization shape the politics and dynamics of sustainable rural livelihoods and food security?
  2.  Climate Change Impacts on Vulnerability, Risk and Resilience- Who are the vulnerable and resilient in rural spaces? How has climate change altered the vulnerability and resilience of rural dwellers? How may risks and vulnerability be reduced in rural spaces to effect sustainable transitions to resilience?
  3. Effective Risk and Resource Management for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth- What challenges have the legacy of sugar, the plantation economy and structural adjustment created for effective risk and resource management? What sorts of governance and integration approaches are needed to support sustainable enterprises, inclusive growth and resilient socio-ecological systems? What lessons may be drawn from China on growth and sustainable rural development for small states?
  4. Reframing Rural Resilience: The Role of the Non-farm Economy and Rural Enterprise Growth - How important is the non farm rural economy for sustainable and inclusive growth, or socio-economic resilience?
  5. Policy and Aid Processes for effective resilience- How well do policy and aid processes succeed in achieving pro-poor or inclusive and sustainable growth? What policy measures are needed to enhance socio-ecological resilience?
  6. Globalization, Governance and the ‘Will to Improve’- What are the effects of globalization on rural spaces? What forces shape the politics for system resilience and sustainable futures?
Please send all abstracts to Ms. Ruby McFadden at and copied to Dr. Patricia Northover at or . Abstracts should not be more than 250 words and panel proposals not more than 1000 words. A brief bio and contact information should be sent with all abstracts and panel proposals.

The deadline for abstracts and panel proposals has been extended to Feb. 29, 2012. Acceptance of abstracts and panel proposal will be communicated to authors by March 10, 2012. For further information and updates on the conference, visit our fifty-fifty website at: