Vorbrugg A.  Not about land, not quite a grab: Dispersed dispossession in rural Russia // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2018. V.3. №3. P. 19-47.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2018-3-3-19-47


In most literature in geography and agrarian studies, rural dispossession is neatly related to land rights or access, a trend that increased with debates about the recent wave of farmland investments worldwide. This paper critiques this focus and the assumed nexus between rural dispossession and farmland, as they prevent us from understanding widespread but more dispersed stakes, modes and temporalities of dispossession. I draw on long term fieldwork in rural Russia in which I traced the lasting effects of historical devaluation and systemic disadvantage, and the disintegration of sustaining institutions and infrastructures. I introduce the concept of dispersed dispossession which contributes to the broader conceptual debates on dispossession by bringing complex stakes, modes and temporalities of dispossession into view. For the empirical case, it allows to better understand forms of dispossession that occur rather slowly and silently, and concern social and relational goods rather than natural resources as such. 


Dispossession, rural transformation, Russia, land, post-Soviet political economies.

About the authors

Vorbrugg Alexander, a Postdoctoral Researcher Institute of Geography, University of Bern (Switzerland). Hallerstr. 12, 3012 Bern, Switzerland.
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Translator: Trotsuk Irina V., DSc (Sociology), Senior Researcher, Center for Agrarian Studies, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration; Professor, Sociology Chair, RUDN University. Prosp. Vernadskogo, 82, Moscow, Russian Federation, 119571. 
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Center for Agrarian studies of the Russian Presidental Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA)

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