Khorasani Zadeh H. The rise of the peasant land ownership as a driver of social-spatial differentiation in contemporary rural Veneto and French Flanders // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2023. V.8. №4. P. 83-101.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2023-8-4-83-101


The growth of peasant ownership in peasant societies is usually associated with a reduction in social hierarchies due to the improvement of social-economic conditions, decline of large-scale land ownership and development of small-scale agriculture. When qualifying such assertions, scholars have proved that the peasant ownership’s impact on the evolution of agriculture and social differentiation are highly variable depending on the social-historical contexts. The article aims at contributing to this debate by showing how the rise of peasant ownership may lead to contradictory dynamics in terms of social-spatial differentiation due to the so-called differentiated ‘relationship with land and kinship’ or ‘reproduction patterns’ of peasant families. To test this hypothesis, the paper examines two European rural areas located in Northern France and Veneto, focusing on the evolution of land ownership, tenancy, kinship and social-professional features in a sample of municipalities in these two areas from the mid-19th century to the end of the 20th century. In addition to the analysis of aggregated data at the municipal level, the author also considers the evolution of smaller areas in each municipality under study with the qualitative approach based on the ‘biography’ of some properties and holdings, individuals and families. The research relies on both public sources (population census, property cadasters, agrarian surveys, etc.) and private archives.


Ownership, tenancy, agricultural holdings, kinship, family, space, social reproduction, mapping, industrialization.

About the author

Hessam Khorasani Zadeh, PhD (History), Postdoc Fellow, University of Lille. Cité Scientifique Campus, TVES Laboratory, Paul Langevin Avenue, 59655 Villeneuve d'Ascq, France.
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Shagaida N.I., Nikulin A.M. “All generations of my family... have been involved in global agrarian transformations” // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2021. V.6. №2. P. 121-153.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2021-6-2-121-153


In the biographical interview, N.I. Shagaida, DSc (Economics), Head of the Center for Agro-Food Policy of the RANEPA, considers the historical roots of the development of the Soviet agrarian system on the examples of her life experience and her family generations involved in agricultural activities in different regions of the former USSR. The interview focuses on her reflections on the peculiarities of agrarian university and academic organizations and on the role of outstanding scientists as determining the results of research teams and the horizons of agrarian sciences. The article presents the milestones in N.I. Shagaida’s scientific research as coinciding with the key stages in restructuring and reforming the Soviet and post-Soviet agrarian system, especially with the social-economic experiments and transformations under the reform of the Soviet collective-farm and state-farm system in the Nizhny Novgorod Region and other regions of the Russian Federation in the 1990s, and with the creation of rural development institutions in Lodeynopolsky district of the Leningrad Region. N.I. Shagaida emphasizes that for the successful and sustainable agrarian transformations, science and government have to work systematically in pilot regional projects in order to take into account opinions, requests and estimates of the rural population and local rural leaders in the development and adaptation of the daily innovations under the necessary agrarian changes. Thus, the interview questions the strategic goals of the state in the regulation of land relations, food security, agricultural production and the Russian rural development in general.


Family, school, science, USSR, perestroika, reform, agricultural enterprises, land, rural development.

About the authors

Shagaida Natalia I., DSc (Economics), Head of the Center for Agro-Food Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. 119571, Moscow, Vernadskogo Prosp., 82.
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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.
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Lepetyukhina Ya.O., Neroda M.A. Uferwerk partnership, or implementation of social utopia // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2020. V.5. №2. P. 141-150.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2020-5-2-141-150


The article considers the history and everyday practices of the German housing cooperative partnership Uferwerk located in the countryside not far from Berlin. On the example of the housing cooperative Uferwerk, the authors analyze the social structure, financial and legal features of the contemporary housing partnership that reconstructs traditional relations and at the same time creates new humanistic relations of the community. This partnership transformed and rebuilt the former industrial territory of the metallurgical manufactory into an environmentally attractive space for the community of ninety adults and sixty children of various generations. The article focuses on the successful intergenerational interaction of the members of this housing partnership; considers its search for optimal legal and organizational-financial forms. The authors emphasize that all members of this unique project did not have any special data or skills for creating a cooperative, arranging a joint life, reconstructing real estate or developing a set of rules for the partnership. Thus, the new community developed due to the internal mutual learning based on the active participation of its members in management and decision-making, work and leisure, and on their desire to achieve the old utopian goals of cooperative solidarity in the new social realities of the 21st century.


community, family, partnership, cooperative, suburbanization, real estate, ecology, generations, utopia

About the authors

Lepetyukhina Yana O., PhD Student, Institute of Political Sciences, RheinischWestfälische Technische Hochschule. Mies-van-der-Rohe-Straße, 10, 52074, Aachen.
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Neroda Maxim A., Graphic Designer; Head of the Electric Workshop at the Uferwerk Partnership. Halle 36 e.V., Luisenstr. 16, 14542 Werder (Havel).
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Russian Peasant Studies. Scientific journal

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

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