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Marc Edelman
Position: Professor
Campus Affiliation: Graduate Center|Hunter College
Degrees/Diplomas: PhD, Columbia, 1985
Research Interests: The Americas, critical agrarian studies, social movements, human rights, development and underdevelopment, political anthropology.
Subfield: Cultural Anthropology
Marc Edelman is Professor of Anthropology at the Graduate Center and at Hunter College. He works at the intersection of agrarian issues, social movements, and human rights. In Central America he analyzed changing land tenure and land use patterns, production systems, rural class relations, and social movements. In Geneva he participated in the process that led to the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas. Edelman has a longstanding concern with understanding changing forms of capitalism and with the politics of controlling markets, whether through welfare states, civil society pressure or global trade rules. During the mid-1980s, after seeing his fieldwork zone in northern Costa Rica tragically converted into a staging area for the civil war in Nicaragua, he also carried out research in the USSR and wrote extensively on Soviet-Latin American relations.

Currently, Edelman is working on a project on the history of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas (UNDROP), which the General Assembly adopted in 2018 after a seventeen-year campaign by transnational agrarian movements and human rights organizations. He was part of the convening group of the Emancipatory Rural Politics Initiative, an international research and action collaborative on authoritarian populism and the rural world. He recently completed a book (in Spanish) on critical agrarian studies, coauthored another book on peasant involvement in global civil society movements and transnational networking among small farmer organizations, and coedited special journal issues on global land grabs, political reactions 'from below' to land grabbing, and critical perspectives on food sovereignty (all also available in book form).

Selected Books:

2018     Global Land Grabbing and Political Reactions ‘From Below’ [edited by Marc Edelman, Ruth Hall, Saturnino M. Borras Jr., Ian Scoones, Ben White, and Wendy Wolford]. Routledge].
2017     Activistas empedernidos e intelectuales comprometidos: Ensayos sobre movimientos sociales, derechos humanos y estudios latinoamericanos. Quito: Editorial del Instituto de Altos Estudios Nacionales.
2016     Critical Perspectives on Food Sovereignty. Global agrarian transformations [edited by Marc Edelman, James C. Scott, Amita Baviskar, Saturnino M. Borras Jr., Eric Holt-Giménez, Deniz Kandiyoti, Tony Weis and Wendy Wolford]. Routledge.
2016     Political Dynamics of Transnational Agrarian Movements [by Marc Edelman and Saturnino M. Borras, Jr.], Fernwood (Halifax, NS) and Practical Action (UK).
2016     Estudios agrarios críticos: Tierras, semillas, soberanía alimentaria y los derechos de las y los campesinos. Quito: Editorial del Instituto de Altos Estudios Nacionales, Colección Economía y Sociedad.

2015    Global Land Grabs: History, Theory and Method [edited by Marc Edelman, Carlos Oya and Saturnino M. Borras, Jr.]. Routledge.
2007     Social Democracy in the Global Periphery: Origins, Challenges, Prospects [by Richard Sandbrook, Marc Edelman, Patrick Heller, and Judith Teichman].  Cambridge University Press.
2005     The Anthropology of Development and Globalization: From Classical Political Economy to Contemporary Neoliberalism. Blackwell [co-editor Angelique Haugerud].
1999     Peasants Against Globalization: Rural Social Movements in Costa Rica. Stanford University Press.
1992     The Logic of the Latifundio: The Large Estates of Northwestern Costa Rica since the Late Nineteenth Century. Stanford University Press.

Selected Articles/Chapters:
2020     “From ‘Populist Moment’ to Authoritarian Era: Challenges, Dangers, Possibilities.” Journal of Peasant Studies.

2020.    “How Capitalism Underdeveloped Rural America.” Jacobin, January 26.

2020     "Grassroots Voices: The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas" [coauthor Priscilla Claeys]. Journal of Peasant Studies 47(1): 1-68.
2019     "Hollowed Out Heartland, USA: How Capital Sacrificed Communities and Paved the Way for Authoritarian Populism," Journal of Rural Studies (published online).
2018     "Emancipatory Rural Politics: Confronting Authoritarian Populism," Journal of Peasant Studies [by Ian Scoones, Marc Edelman, Saturnino M. Borras Jr., Ruth Hall, Wendy Wolford and Ben White] 45(1): 1-20.
2017     "Critical Agrarian Studies in Theory and Practice," Antipode 49(4): 959-976 [coauthor Wendy Wolford].
2015     "Resistance, Acquiescence or Incorporation? An Introduction to Land Grabbing and Political Reactions ‘From Below’," Journal of Peasant Studies 42(3) (May-July): 467-488 [by Ruth Hall, Marc Edelman, Saturnino M. Borras Jr., Ian Scoones, Ben White, and Wendy Wolford].
2013     "Cycles of Land Grabbing in Central America: An Argument for History and a Case Study in the Bajo Aguán, Honduras," Third World Quarterly 34(9) (Oct.): 1697-1722 [coauthor Andrés León].
2012     "E.P. Thompson and Moral Economies," A Companion to Moral Anthropology, Didier Fassin, ed. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 49-66.
2005     "Bringing the Moral Economy Back In... to the Study of Twenty-first Century Transnational Peasant Movements," American Anthropologist 107(3) (Sept.): 331-345.
2001     "Social Movements: Changing Paradigms and Forms of Politics," Annual Review of Anthropology 30: 285-317.
1998     "A Central American Genocide: Rubber, Slavery, Nationalism, and the Destruction of the Guatusos-Malekus," Comparative Studies in Society and History 40(2): 356-90.

1994     "Land Inequality: A Comparison of Census Data and Property Records in Twentieth-Century Southern Costa Rica," Hispanic American Historical Review 74(3) (Aug.): 445-91 [co-author Mitchell A. Seligson].

1994     "Landlords and the Devil: Class, Ethnic, and Gender Dimensions of Central American Peasant Narratives," Cultural Anthropology 9(1) (Feb.): 58-93.