Teodor Shanin: Peasant Studies and Russia

Doktorov B.Z., Nikulin A.M. Teodor Shanin: Peasant Studies and Russia // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2020. V.5. №3. P. 146-172.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2020-5-3-146-172


In this interview, Boris Doktorov, a Russian sociologist living in America, a researcher of intellectual biographies and methods of social sciences in the 20th–21st centuries, together with the Editor-in-Chief of the Russian Peasant Studies and Head of the Chayanov Research Center of the Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences, Alexander Nikulin, talks about the outstanding British sociologist Teodor Shanin, whose scientific legacy is closely related to the development of an interdisciplinary social science—peasant studies, and who conducted a number of fundamental historical-sociological and economic-sociological studies of rural Russia. The interview considers the basic concepts and milestones in the development of peasant studies as a branch of the historical-sociological knowledge in Russia, analyzes Shanin’s estimates of various aspects of the Russian social-humanitarian thought as related to the study of the peasantry and to the recommendations on alternatives for the development and transformation of peasant worlds, which were suggested by agrarian populists and Marxists, G.V. Plekhanov and V.I. Lenin, A.V. Chayanov and I.V. Stalin. The interview considers the impact of literature and art on descriptions and explanations of the role of the peasantry through the intellectual interests of Teodor Shanin; focuses on his joint activities with his closest colleagues in the study of rural Russia—the outstanding agrarian scientists V.P. Danilov and T.I. Zaslavskaya. Throughout the interview, Shanin’s worldview and moral-ethical principles in the search for humanistic alternatives for the Russian and global rural development are discussed.


peasantry, peasant studies, agrarian policy, Teodor Shanin, V.P. Danilov, T.I. Zaslavskaya, village writers, rural Russia

About the authors

Doktorov Boris Z., DSc (Philosophy), Professor, Independet Analyst. 100 Village Lane, Foster City, CA 94404, USA.
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
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.
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


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Russian Peasant Studies. Scientific journal

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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