Kedrov N.G. Viktor Danilov’s four conceptions of collectivization // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2019. V.4. №3. P. 6-42.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2019-4-3-6-42


The article considers the views of the famous Russian agrarian historian V.P. Danilov on collectivization. The author identifies four stages in his studies. First, Danilov’s becoming a historian of the Soviet village under the Khrushev’s “thaw”, when he joined the reconsideration of the Soviet history and took an active part in the critical analysis of Stalin’s historiography. Danilov focused on the search of macro-structures in the genesis of socialist relations in the Soviet agriculture. However, his attempts to develop a new conception of collectivization were not successful due to the political changes in the country in the mid-1960s. In the second half of the 1960s—1980s, the new official conception of collectivization introduced by S.P. Trapeznikov became the main subject of criticism from Danilov: he emphasized the prevalence of patriarchal relations in the Soviet village before collectivization. “Perestroika” gave new hopes to the historians of the Danilov’s generation. However, he did not share the views of radical critics of the collective-farm system and developed a conception of the alternatives to the Stalin’s “revolutions from above” as the lost opportunities to create a true socialism. The final stage in Danilov’s scientific work consisted of preparing fundamental documentary series on history of the Soviet village, and of thinking on the ideas of totalitarian historiography. The author stresses Danilov’s outstanding role in developing two of three research programs for the study of the agrarian history of the Soviet period.


agrarian history, historical science, Soviet village, collectivization, V.P. Danilov

About the author

Kedrov Nikolay G., PhD (History), Independent Researcher
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


Kedrov N.G. Ivan Semenovich Kuznetsov in the context of three mythologies of collectivization // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2018. V.3. №3. P. 48-69.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2018-3-3-48-69


The article considers scientific works of the Russian historian I.S. Kuznetsov in the context of three historical approaches to assessing collectivization: 1) the Soviet official approach of the 1960-1980s; 2) the ideology of the so called “village writers”; 3) the post-Soviet interpretation of collectivization. Kuznetsov is rightly called a pioneer of the study of the Soviet peasantry’s social psychology. The author argues that Kuznetsov as a scientist was greatly influenced by the works of B.F. Porshnev, N.Ya. Guschin, V.P. Danilov. His PhD thesis basically corresponded to the official Soviet model of interpreting collectivization but later his views on it seriously changed. In the book Social Psychology of the Siberian Peasantry in the 1920s, he proposed his own theory of the prerequisites of the “great change”, in particular focusing on numerous economic, political, and social-cultural conflicts among the peasantry on the eve of collectivization. Such an approach was very different from the mainstream interpretations of collectivization in the post-Soviet science. Thus, when developing his ideas in the 1990s, Kuznetsov actually presented a set of counter-arguments to the dominant theory of collectivization. At that time his ideas were ignored by the scientific community but today they attract its attention. 


Agrarian historiography, collectivization, historical psychology, historical science, rural culture, I.S. Kuznetsov.

About the author

Kedrov Nikolay G., PhD (History), Researcher, Vologda State University; 160000, Russia, Vologda, Lenina St., 15.
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


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

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