Colombian Peasants in the Neoliberal Age

Between War Rentierism and Subsistence

By Nazih F. Richani

Subjects: Political Sociology, Latin American Studies, Economy And Society, Marxism
Hardcover : 9781438494128, 334 pages, August 2023
Paperback : 9781438494111, 334 pages, February 2024

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Table of contents

List of Illustrations
Introduction: Peasants in the Neoliberal Age, Theories and Research Question

1. The Emergence of the Neoliberal State, Rentier Economics, and the Agrarian Question

2. Rentierism, Cattle Ranching, and Food Insecurity in Colombia

3. Peasant Reserves’ Adaptability, Resistance, Subsumption, and War Rentierism

4. The Struggle for Survival: The Indigenous People

5. War Rentierism’s Impact on Afro‑Colombians in Cauca

Conclusion: Peasant Resistance and War Rentierism

Presents a timely discussion of the core problems faced by peasant communities under neo-liberal economics.


Presenting the historical, socioeconomic, political, and security conditions experienced by three peasant communities, Colombian Peasants in the Neoliberal Age provides readers with the most up-to-date and comprehensive assessment of Colombia's peasants currently available. Nazih F. Richani examines their adaptive strategies and resistance to subsumption processes and the prospects for the sustainability of their modes of production, culture, and livelihood. In addition, he explores each communities' level of agency that has allowed them to respond to the encroachments of rentier economy by devising adaptive strategies and building collaborative networks, forging new partners at the national, regional, and global levels. These findings are timely given the historic change in Colombia's leadership as represented by President Gustavo Petro, a former rebel and a leftist leader, and his vice president Francia Elena Marquez, an Afro-Colombian woman activist. The Petro administration offers an exceptional opportunity for radical policy change toward national development, particularly towards peasants and agrarian issues. The research undertaken in this book holds the potential to enrich political discussions and inform new policies.

Nazih F. Richani is Professor of Political Science at Kean University. He is the author of Systems of Violence, Second Edition: The Political Economy of War and Peace in Colombia, also published by SUNY Press.


"Highly original in its analytical clarity, this book throws real light on the connections between how powerful economic interests treat land and violence during, after, and outside of war. Richani provides an important lens through which to debate the ongoing threats to the peasant/indigenous/Afro-Colombian economy while remaining sensitive to gender and to women's active role in the resistances to rentier subsummation." — Jenny Pearce, author of Politics without Violence? Towards a Post-Weberian Enlightenment