At the great crossroads. The comparative analysis of the evolution of agriculture in China, the United States of North America, the USSR, and Western Europe (Article of N.P. Makarov)

Makarov N.P. At the great crossroads. The comparative analysis of the evolution of agriculture in China, the United States of North America, the USSR, and Western Europe (Article of N.P. Makarov) // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2019. V.4. №1. P. 6-21.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2019-4-1-6-21


This article published in the mid-1920s in the Peasant International was written by an outstanding Russian agrarian scientist and a prominent representative of the organization-production school Nikolai Pavlovich Makarov (1887–1980). It is quite strange that this article was not listed in the bibliographies of Makarov’s works although it is absolutely important for the understanding of the evolution of world agriculture in the 20th century. Moreover, the reader will see that in the second half of the 1920s the ideas of this article were developed in the works of other representatives of the organization-production school — A.V. Chayanov, G.S. Studensky, A.A. Rybnikov. As the title and the foreword of the article show, the author seeks to provide an analytical description of the main directions of the world agrarian evolution of the 1920s and its possible alternatives on the example of four main macro-regions of world agriculture: the USA, China, Western Europe and Russia. First the author focuses on the two so-called “poles” of agrarian development — the United States and China — and argues that “old” labor-intensive agrarian China and the “young” capital-intensive agrarian United States are the exact opposites of each other. It is between these poles that the paths of the agricultural evolution of most countries of the world, including Europe and Russia, are located. Makarov concludes with a preliminary diagnosis of the approaching “great agrarian crossroads” of world agriculture. The publication with comments was prepared by A.M. Nikulin.


agriculture, USA, China, Western Europe, Russia, agrarian evolution, peasants, farmers

About the authors

Makarov Nikolai Pavlovich

Editor: Nikulin Alexander M., PhD (Economics), Head of the 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. 


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The Russian Peasant Studies is published by the Center for Agrarian studies of the Russian Presidental Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA) since 2016. ISSN 2500-1809. Frequency - four issues per year. The Russian registration number is PI FS77-65824 27-May-2016. Open access: All volumes and articles can be downloaded for free in the PDF format. Russian Peasant Studies included to Russian Science Citation Index, Russian Science Citation Index Core, List of Journals approved by Russian Hihger Attestation committee (Ministry for Sciende and Education) and  Scopus database. The publisher: Delo Publishing House of the 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). Full list of the RANEPA Journlas


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