Chayanov A.V. Main Ideas and Methods of Social Agronomy (Part 1) (Article of A.V. Chayanov) // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2020. V.5. №1. P. 6-30.
The book by Alexander Chayanov Main Ideas and Methods of Social Agronomy is one of his key interdisciplinary works written and published at the beginning of the October Revolution and the Civil War. In this work, the economist Chayanov is a social philosopher considering the rural evolution as determined not only by the market and the state but mainly by the will and knowledge of rural households that can be led to the sustainable rural development by the organized public mind (a kind of a synonymous for civil society). Its most important social institution in the rural sphere is social agronomy. Chayanov emphasizes that social agronomy is one of the youngest social institutions. It appeared in the late 19th century in Europe and North America and in three decades turned into an influential movement uniting agrarian scientists, agrarian activists and a huge number of peasants striving for agricultural knowledge for more productive and cultural development of their households.
In this book, Chayanov is not only a social philosopher but also a social activist and organizer, teacher and psychologist. The book is based on his seminar, ‘Social Agronomy and Agricultural Cooperation’, which incorporated many years of personal communication with peasants, agronomists and agrarian scientists about dissemination and application of agrarian knowledge by peasants.
We publish the first five chapters of the book about the tasks and methods of social-agronomic work, its program and organization. For the contemporary reader, this publication is not only of historical interest. Chayanov’s ideas are still relevant for the effective interaction of professional agrarians with the rural population, peasants and farmers in the organization of agricultural knowledge, agricultural cooperatives and agricultural consulting.
The publication with comments was prepared by A.M. Nikulin.
social agronomy, agricultural evolution, peasants, state, agrarian reforms, agrarian knowledge, agricultural cooperation
About the authors
Editor: Nikulin Alexander M., PhD (Economics), Head of the Center for Agrarian Studies, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration; Head of the Chayanov Research Center, Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences. 119571, Moscow, Vernadskogo Prosp, 82.
Translator: Trotsuk Irina V., DSc (Sociology), Senior Researcher, Center for Agrarian Studies, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration; Researcher, Chayanov Research Center, Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences. 119571, Moscow, Vernadskogo Prosp, 82.