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AGRARIAN STUDIES TRAINING INSTITUTE (ASTI)
CALL FOR APPLICATIONS
6 June 2017


1.1 Introduction

The Sam Moyo African Institute for Agrarian Studies (SMAIAS), in collaboration with the Agrarian South Network invites applications from post-graduate students and social movements’ activists from the Global South to participate in the 2017 First Edition of the Agrarian Studies Training Institute (ASTI). The SMAIAS and the ASN have since 2009 been conducting one week long annual Agrarian Summer Schools which attract over 50 scholars and social movements from Africa, Asia and Latin America. The purpose of the Summer School has been to leverage South-South and African-wide agrarian research and training capacities, promote relevant knowledge and collaborative scholarship in policy analyses around the question of agrarian transformation in Africa. There has however been a realisation that there is need to invest in building the capacities of the next generation of scholars, intellectuals and activists to envision and propose effective agrarian reforms and rural development strategies, while advocating for greater public accountability in policy formulation and fiscal resource allocation processes. The ASTI intends to offer a 3 weeks, intensive inter-disciplinary course in agrarian studies, with faculty members and students from universities in Africa, Asia and Latin America/Caribbean to address such needs. The ASTI will be preceded by an academic workshop titled: “Sustainable Development Goals and Agrarian Transformations in the Global South: Trends and Opportunities” which will be co-organized by SMAIAS and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), therefore, successful candidates will attend both trainings as part of the month long programme. Both the workshop and the ASTI will offer a unique opportunity for international academic exchange of a high scholarly standard for both faculty and students. They will generate new knowledge based on shared experiences among researchers in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, and promote the building of networking capacity among young scholars and activists in the Global South.

1.2 Course Content

The institute is offering a course entitled “Agrarian Transformations in the Global South”. The aim of the course is to provide an intensive study of the agrarian question, including its origins, historical trajectories, and related policy interventions, especially land reform. It offers a historical and comparative perspective whose purpose is to provide students with the basic conceptual tools and historical knowledge to conduct research and/or engage in advocacy and policy-making. The seven modules to be covered by the course are:

  1. Sustainable Development Goals and Agrarian Transformation;
  2. Theoretical Perspectives on the Agrarian Transformations;
  3. Land and Agrarian Relations: Comparing National Contexts and Policies;
  4. Social Institutions, Patriarchy and Agrarian Relations;
  5. Agri-business, Global Supply Chains and Food Security;
  6. Social Movements and Collective Actions in the Contemporary Agrarian Transformations;
  7. Research Methods and Techniques.

1.3 Objectives of the Course

The course aims to introduce students to the trends and processes of agrarian transformations under contemporary capitalism. As is well known, there has been a new phase of the scramble for land and other natural resources in the global south under the contemporary phase of corporate capitalism. The processes unleashed by this phenomenon have had a devastating impact on the lives of the working poor and also led to a new wave of resistance. Since this process is multi-faceted and multi-dimensional in its character, it is only natural that the study of the political economy of contemporary agrarian transformations is also interdisciplinary. This month long interdisciplinary course is aimed at training students in themes and methods of agrarian research in the present times.

1.4 Dates and venue of the Institute

The entire programme which includes both the Academic Workshop and the Institute will last for 1 month and will take place in Harare from the 23rd of October until 17thNovember 2017.

2.0 ELIGIBILITY FOR PARTICIPATION

Young scholars resident in countries from the Global South pursuing Doctoral degrees or recently completed a Master’s degree and planning to enroll for a PhD are strongly encouraged to apply. Social movement activists who possess a Masters qualification and are engaged in agrarian policy lobby and advocacy are also encouraged to apply. Preference will however be given to activists who are planning to enroll for a PhD degree. Although students will be asked to write an essay in the language of their understanding (i.e. English, French and Portuguese) they are expected to have a working knowledge of English.

3.0 APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS

  1. A one-page letter of motivation indicating their interest to participate at the Institute and detail how they will benefit from the engagements.
  2. A Curriculum Vitae complete with names of professional and personal referees (supervisors included) of the prospective participants, discipline being worked on, and summary of ongoing research activities.
  3. A certified copy of the highest university degree obtained by the applicant.
  4. A certified copy of valid passport (at least six months before the commencement of the course).
  5. A letter from the applicant’s institution supporting his/her candidature.
  6. A sample of a paper, article or thesis chapter authored by the applicant.

4.0 FUNDING

Successful candidates will be fully funded by SMAIAS, including a return air ticket from home country and food and accommodation costs during their stay in Harare.

5.0 APPLICATIONS DETAILS

Applications should be sent via email and addressed to:trustees@aiastrust.org and walter@aiastrust.org. Enquiries about the course should also be forwarded to the same addresses. The deadline for the receipt of applications is 30 June 2017. Successful candidates will be notified by 15 July 2017. For more information about SMAIAS, please visit our website: www.aiastrust.org


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