Alexei Fedorovich Fortunatov and the development of Peasant Studies in Russia in the late XIX — early XX centuries

Kuznetsov I.A. Alexei Fedorovich Fortunatov and the development of Peasant Studies in Russia in the late XIX — early XX centuries // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2017. V.2. №1. pp. 66-89.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2017-2-1-66-89


The article considers the biography and works of the Russian agricultural economist  and statistician A. F. Fortunatov (1856–1925), and focuses on the paradoxical duality  of the contemporaries’ estimates of this scientist as an empirical researcher and at  the same time as a bright thinker. The author traces the influence of Fortunatov’s ideas  on the formation of the ideology and theory of “social agronomy”, his contribution to  the theory of non-capitalist economy, his new forms and methods of teaching “agricultural  economy” and statistics, which became the intellectual preconditions for the development  of the “organization-production approach”. Based on the archival data the  author claims that Fortunatov introduced the term “biological technology”; emphasizes  the unique ideological position of Fortunatov, who was an expert in the theoretical and  empirical shades of marxism, liberalism and populism in the agrarian question, and an  adherent of populism who never expressed his personal criticism or approval of the turbulent  social-political changes and reforms in Russia in the early XX century. The article  identifies the milestones in the research and teaching career of professor Fortunatov,  considers the encyclopedic diversity of his interests and publications, however sometimes  of too propaedeutic-popular character. The author believes that Fortunatov was  an outstanding teacher of the Russian higher school, and his grateful students can be  found not only among a number of famous professors of the organization-production  school, but also among hundreds and even thousands of Russian agrarians — famous  and unknown, who made a significant contribution to the modernization and development  of rural Russia in the first half of XX century. One of the key achievements of Fortunatov  is that he reconsidered the object of the Russian agrarian economics and reoriented  it from the organization of large private farms to the study of peasant economy.


history of agrarian-economic thought, theory of peasant economy, social agronomy, organization-production school, A. F. Fortunatov, Petrovskaya Academy

About the author

Kuznetsov Igor A., PhD (History), Senior Researcher, Center for Agrarian Studies, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. 119571, Moscow, prosp. Vernadskogo, 82.
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 



Read 1886 times Last modified on Mar 17 2023

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