Agrarian Scholarship: Actors, Processes and Policies
Rajeswari Raina
AGRARIAN STUDIES: ESSAYS ON AGRARIAN RELATIONS IN LESS-DEVELOPED COUNTRIES by V.K. Ramachandran Tulika Books, New Delhi, 2004, 568 pp., 780.00
February 2004, volume 28, No 2

Published as the aproceedings of an international conference, organized by the Development and Planning Department of the Government of West Bengal, this is an exciting book. The book features stalwarts in the literature on the political economy of agriculture. The 20 essays and presentations are divided into 5 sections–(1) theoretical perspectives, (2) agrarian relations, human development and neoliberal land reform, (3) Latin America-country experiences, (4) South Asia-country experiences, (5) some socialist experiences.The book delivers a fortified attack on the processes of liberalization and structural adjustment being imposed on the rural populations in less developed countries by global and domestic capital. A significant feature that enriches the attack is the inclusion of several non-academic authors, and the discussions presenting the views of activists, bureaucrats, politicians and academics. The fortification comes from the various analyses, presenting different views, arguing that there are other historical processes and institutional determinants besides ‘good capital’ that lead to the immiseration of the rural proletariat.

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