Policital Economy of the Agrarian Change

Bernstein G., Trotsuk I. Policital Economy of the Agrarian Change // Russian Peasant Studies. 2016. V.1. №1. P. 8-37.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2016-1-1-8-37


According to the author, the understanding of the agrarian transformations in the modern world requires an analysis of capitalism as a special system of social relations between capital and labor, which as historical development is changing the social nature of small farms, runs the processes of commodification and produces not a single "class" of the peasants or the heads of households and internally heterogeneous classes small agricultural capitalists, small producers and workers. The author poses a challenge - using categorical apparatus of the class theory of Marx on the capitalist mode of production, to bring order in the diverse and complex agrarian history of the modern world, designating a number of "common themes" in the world-historical career of capitalism and refusing thereby from simple and ideologically attractive moralizing stories about peasant world and its disappearance. The article indicated by the general logic of the historical relationships of colonialism and capitalism, gave rise to large-scale agricultural transformation on all continents; highlighted local and global trends in the development of agriculture and the rural economy; given the characteristics of new forms of organization of the world capitalist system that emerged under the influence of neo-liberal globalization; The role of resistance to capitalist exploitation and land reform in the development of modern agriculture. 


political economy, agrarian change, capitalism, colonialism, class of capitalists, class of petty commodity producers, class of wage labour, Marx’s theory

About the authors

Bernstein Henry, Professor of Development Studies of the University of London at the School of Oriental and African Studies, Adjunct Professor at the College of Humanities and Development Studies of China Agricultural University, Beijing; coeditor of Journal of Agrarian Change.
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG, United Kingdom.
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  
Trotsuk Irina, D. Sc (Sociology), Associate Professor at the Sociology Chair of Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia; Senior Researcher at the Center for Agrarian Studies of the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration.
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Read 1747 times Last modified on Mar 22 2023

Russian Peasant Studies. Scientific journal

Center for Agrarian studies of the Russian Presidental Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA)

Hard copies of the journal can be purchased at the Delo e-store or by subscription in the "Press of Russia" Agency (subscription index - Т81017).

Friends and Partners

Rosa Luxemburg foundation
was a partner of Russian Peasant Studies before it was removed from list of approved foundation in 2022


Here you can make free subscription to mailing list of our Journal.
Subscription allows to receive letters with links to download latest Volume and articles in PDF.