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Accepted Paper:

Fighting for justice in times of crisis: the conflict over farmers’ markets closing during Covid 19 pandemic in Romania  
Hestia-Ioana Delibas (Universidade de Coimbra)

Paper short abstract:

Using as a case study the conflict over restricted access to farmers' markets in Romania, this paper addresses the impact the Covid 19 pandemic had on the peasantry in post-socialist space. We will underly issues regarding recognition in the fight for justice and state positionality in relation to this conflict.

Paper long abstract:

The Covid 19 pandemic has proven to be an unprecedented crisis that has exposed both the limits of the public systems and many social injustices which are frequently invisibilized. Moreover, the pandemic has also accentuated the discrepancies between classes, placing peasants and rural workers in vulnerable positions, accentuated by a minimization of the role of the state, which has positioned itself as an actor due only to managing the economic sector, without taking enough social protection measures. This is even more true for the peripheral countries of post-socialist Europe, for which neoliberalism has guided policymaking throughout the transition period.

This paper addresses the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic on peasants’ conditions in the post-socialist space taking as a case study the conflict ignited as the farmers’ markets in Romania were closed, as part of security measures taken by the Romanian Government for pandemic control. It will look at how this conflict was framed by different instances, from state officials, media outlets and peasant activists, focusing on the issue of recognition in the struggle for justice. The Covid-19 pandemic has only accentuated the already existing precarious conditions of the peasantry, which is already highly impacted by land dispossession and the rise of agri-business. As part of the European periphery, Romania, a country with a large population living in rural areas, has been subject to land grabbing and neoliberal reforms which translated into the destabilisation of a rural population already impoverished, that has very few strategies left for survival.

Panel P037
Anthropological perspectives on the transformative potential of the pandemic on work and health rights.
  Session 1 Tuesday 26 July, 2022, -