Entrepreneurship in Peri-urban Villages: Understanding Empowerment & Marginalization in the Urbanizing Global South

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In the Global South urbanization is changing the nature of villages, and rural entrepreneurs play an important part in this. Entrepreneurial success requires good roads, labour, communications, technology, skills and (relatively) cheap land. These are readily available in the peri-urban fringe, where urbanization is most rapid. This is considered ‘modernization’ and ‘progress’ – a neo-liberal mindset within which the private entrepreneur is embedded.

Private entrepreneurship has been traditionally seen as vital in achieving poverty alleviation – there are several examples of this in studies from China, Tanzania, Indonesia and India, amongst many others. Often government policies have tried to increase the proportion of non-cultivation employment in rural areas to achieve this. On the surface entrepreneurship suggests innovation, collaboration and partnerships between the state, civil society and private sector. However, de-regulation gives entrepreneurs increased access over human/natural resources. In the peri-urban fringe therefore the entrepreneur has greater capacity to affect both empowerment and marginalization of rural communities.

This session aims to theorize relationships between rural-entrepreneurship and urbanization, shifting the spotlight away from solely the ‘urban’ or the ‘rural’, but also away from simplistic preconceptions that see urbanization within binary frameworks. It aims to converge strands addressing how entrepreneurship transforms individuals and the community, but also at national/global levels – how both governance and everyday life are transformed.

This session welcomes papers connecting urbanization with rural entrepreneurship that deal with (but are not limited to) the following themes:

  • How environmental and social justice are linked with entrepreneurship in the Global South;
  • How entrepreneurship shapes (and is shaped by) multi-level governance and policy;
  • How we can theorize agrarian dimensions of entrepreneurship (food, labour, multifunctionality, etc.);
  • How entrepreneurship is co-produced (through the nature/type of individual – institutional interactions);
  • How we can theorize the relationships between learning/education and entrepreneurship;
  • How entrepreneurship relates to rural-urban linkages and urbanization;
  • Typologies and wider discussions / debates around entrepreneurship.

Deadline for submitting abstracts is 7th February 2014

Please send abstracts up to a maximum of 250 words and proposed titles (clearly stating name, institution, and contact details) to Rohit Madan MadanR@cardiff.ac.uk