University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > All POLIS Department Seminars and Events > From Hidden Dissent to Open Renegotiation and Contestation: Local Actors Interacting with Agrarian Modernisation in Rural Rwanda

From Hidden Dissent to Open Renegotiation and Contestation: Local Actors Interacting with Agrarian Modernisation in Rural Rwanda

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Over the last ten years, the Rwandan government has rolled out an ambitious ‘green revolution’ policy package aimed at modernising and professionalising its rural economy. The reorganisation of rural space and production – in order to foster economic growth – has been met with scepticism and aversion by large groups of subsistence farmers. However, whereas initially dissent was repressed and almost exclusively expressed beneath the surface; the room for manoeuvre for open contestation has significantly increased over the last years. The government itself acknowledges how citizen satisfaction with agrarian policies is too low. The openness for discussion on ‘defaults’ in the system seems to confirm the RPF ’s claim of being a learning government. And interestingly, civil society organisations and local media are allowed to play an important role in giving voice to such open contestation. However, it remains to be seen whether negotiations evolve around certain ‘deficiencies in the system’, or whether these may culminate in broader contestation around the systemic defaults embedded within a top-down imposed agrarian transformation.

This talk is part of the All POLIS Department Seminars and Events series.

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