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Peasants and the Art of Farming: A Chayanovian Manifesto

by Jan van der Ploeg Fernwood Publishing
Pub Date:
Pbk 158 pages
AU$33.99 NZ$34.77
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Peasants today, as in the past, are materially neglected. By building on the pioneering work of Chayanov, Peasants and the Art of Farming seeks to address this neglect and to show how important peasants are in the ongoing struggles for food, food sustainability and food sovereignty.

Prelims [ICAS Agrarian Change and Peasant Studies - Series Acknowledgements - Preface]

1 Peasants and Social Transformations
The Political Relevance of Peasant Theory
Peasant Agriculture and Capitalism
What Makes Chayanov a "Genius"?
A Proof of Pedigree

2 The Two Main Balances Identified by Chayanov
The Peasant Unit of Production: No Wages, No Capital
The Labour-Consumer Balance
The Political Relevance of the Labour-Consumer Balance
The Scientific Relevance of the Labour-Consumer Balance
The Balance of Utility and Drudgery
On "Subjective Evaluation"

3 A Wider Array of Interacting Balances
The Balance between People and Living Nature
The Balance of Production and Reproduction
The Balance of Internal and External Resources
The Balance of Autonomy and Dependence
The Balance of Scale and Intensity (and the Emergence of Farming Styles)
Fighting for Progress in an Adverse Environment
By Way of Synthesis: The Peasant Farm
A Final Note on Differentiation

4 The Position of Peasant Agriculture in the Wider Context
Town-Countryside Relations
as Mediated by Exchange Relations
Town-Countryside Relations as Mediated by Migration
Farming Versus the Processing and Marketing of Food
State-Peasantry Relations
The Balance of Agrarian Growth and Demographic Growth

5 Yields
Current Mechanisms of Labour Driven Intensification
The Significance and Reach of Labour Driven Intensification
When Labour Driven Intensification is Blocked
What Propels Labour Driven Intensification?
Intensification and the Role of Agrarian Sciences
Can Peasants Feed the World?

6 Repeasantization
Processes and Expressions of Repeasantization
Repeasantization in Western Europe: Resetting the Balances

Back Matter [Glossary - References - Index]