Theory

Wegren S., Trotsuk I.V. The paradoxes of smallholders in contemporary Russia // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2019. V.4. №4. P. 22-49.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2019-4-4-22-49

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Contemporary Russian smallholders—lichnoe podsobnoe khoziaistvo (LPKh)—are characterized by a number of paradoxes. At the core of these paradoxes is that the role of LPKh in the agricultural system is changing and its future is uncertain. As agricultural production in Russia becomes more concentrated in fewer companies, as supply lines are strengthened, as regulation of sanitary and veterinary conditions become more comprehensive, and as Russian companies are more integrated to global markets, LPKh is falling behind on each dimension. Already in production decline, smallholders are likely to experience continued marginalization into the future. The prospects for reversal of marginalization are poor. It is difficult to see how smallholders’ downward drift in Russia, either relative or absolute, can be stopped. LPKh in Russia lack resiliency in that operators have few levers to mitigate the effects of an increasingly hostile economic environment or to reverse the restrictive policies that emanate from regional governments. Moreover, contemporary urban consumers do not depend on LPKh output as before and the sector does not help the state attain its goals, which means that the LPKh sector is not a priority. The Russian case adds to the development literature by showing a smallholder sector that is making progressively less contribution to economic growth. Further, smallholder-large farm relations are competitive in a way that smallholders cannot possibly win. The household sector will continue to produce food for self-provision but its contribution to local food supply is likely to decline.

 Stephen Wegren, Professor of Political Science, Southern Methodist University, Dallas (USA). P.O. Box 750333, Dallas, TX 75275-0333.
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Irina V. Trotsuk, DSc (Sociology), Professor, Sociology Chair, RUDN University; Senior Researcher, Center for Agrarian Studies, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. Prosp. Vernadskogo, 82, Moscow, Russia, 119571.
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Chayanov A.V. On differentiation of the peasant economy (Article of A.V. Chayanov) // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2019. V.4. №4. P. 6-21.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2019-4-4-6-21

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This article by A.V. Chayanov was first published in the journal, “Paths of Agriculture” (1927, no. 5, pp. 101-21).This is a revised version of his report presented at the beginning of 1927 in Moscow at a discussion on the social-economic differentiation of the Soviet peasantry. Many prominent scientists participated in this discussion, including representatives of the two most important, ideological trends in Soviet agricultural science: on the one hand, Marxist agrarians (L.N. Kritsman, V.S. Nemchinov, Ya.A. Anisimov, I.D. Vermenichev, K.N. Naumov), and on the other hand, the so-called “agrarian neo-populists” (A.V. Chayanov, N.P. Makarov, A.N. Chelintsev).
In the report, Chayanov presents a new interpretation of the social-economic differentiation of the peasantry in Soviet Russia, which differs from the differentiation of the peasantry in pre-revolutionary Russia. According to Chayanov, after the destruction of the landlord and capitalist economies by revolution, the main reasons for the differentiation of the Soviet peasantry in the 1920s were regional contradictions in the peasant population distribution. On the one hand, peasants concentrated in the central, black earth regions, and on the other hand, they moved to the markets of sea ports and large cities. Chayanov argued that in this way, four types of relatively independent, family economies emerged from the mass of semi-subsistence peasant economies: farming, credit-usurious, commercial seasonal-working, and auxiliary economies.
Moreover, unlike the famous Marxist, three-element, agrarian scheme —“kulak– middle peasant–poor peasant”—which was developed by the school of L.N. Kritsman, Chayanov developed a more complex, six-element scheme of the differentiation of peasant economies: capitalist, semi-labor, well-to-do family-labor, poor family-labor, semi-proletarian, and proletarian. Based on this scheme, Chayanov suggested a number of economic policy steps for the systematic development of agricultural cooperation, primarily in the interests of the middle strata of the Soviet peasantry.
In the discussion of peasant differentiation in 1927, the arguments of Chayanov and his colleagues from the organization-production school were more convincing and justified than those of their opponents from the Marxist agrarians. However, in 1928, the Stalinist leadership began to inflate the threat of increasing class differentiation in the village. Thus, it initiated the struggle against the kulaks as a class, which became the prologue to forced collectivization during which Chayanov’s school was destroyed.
The publication with comments was prepared by A.M. Nikulin.

Alexander Chayanov

Editor: Alexander M. Nikulin, 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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Translator: Irina Trotsuk, 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.
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Uleri F. Capitalism and the peasant mode of production: A Chayanovian analysis // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2019. V.4. №3. P. 43-60.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2019-4-3-43-60

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Although the disappearance of the peasantry under capitalism was repeatedly announced, peasants are still here, and the peasant mode of production still serves as a livelihood basis for millions of rural households. Based on Chayanov’s ideas, the article identifies some reasons for this resistance to capitalism by describing the internal functional logic of the peasant economy and the difference of the peasant mode of production from the capitalist one. The complexity and spatial-temporal variability of agricultural production and social-economic formations of the mature capitalism are replacing agriculture in the process of changes that consist of multiple transformations (Geels, 2002; van der Ploeg, 2008). One of the most debated agrarian changes is the trajectories of rural development under the persistence or dissolution of the peasant mode of production in the course of modernization that characterizes the evolution and consolidation of capitalist societies. The fate of the peasantry, or the “peasant question”, is the core part of the larger debate on the “agrarian question”, which the Marxist political economy defines as a set of agrarian transformations leading to the penetration of capitalist relations into agriculture and to the transfer from pre-capitalist, feudal or semi-feudal modes of production to capitalism (McMichael, 2006; Akram-Lodhi, Kay, 2010a; 2010b; Lerche, 2014). However today the empirical scenario is contrary to the Marxist perspective for the peasant mode of production expands and reappears in the repeasantization as a viable alternative to the capitalist agriculture (Domínguez, 2012; Corrado, 2013; Carrosio, 2014; van der Berg et al., 2018). The author presents an overview of the classical conceptualizations of the fate of the peasantry and explains “why peasants are still here” by the spatially and temporally contextualized analysis of the peasant economy in the microeconomic perspective with the help of the theory of peasant economy (TPE) proposed by Chayanov in the early 20th century.

 Francesca Uleri, PhD Researcher, Agrisystem Doctoral School, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Piacenza (Italy).
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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

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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.

 

Chayanov A.V. The southern border of the prevailing three-field system of farming in the peasant lands of Russia by the early 20th century (Article of A.V. Chayanov) // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2019. V.4. №2. P. 62-82.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2019-4-2-62-82

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This is an article of Alexander Chayanov (1888–1937) first published in 1910 in the Agriculture and Forestry. The article is based on the graduate work of Chayanov written at the Moscow Agricultural Institute under the guidance of the Professor of agricultural economy and agricultural statistics A.F. Fortunatov. The article considers farming systems used by peasants on communal lands in the provinces of European Russia in the late 19th—early 20th centuries. Chayanov grouped main systems of the peasant economy into five types: three-field, two-field, many-field, transient (lea tillage), and upland farming. The key sources for the definition and localization of farming systems were the data of non-government (zemstvo) statistics and the descriptions of farming systems provided by local agronomists in a number of provinces. Chayanov also used the ratio of the sown and fallow lands as an indicator of the farming system. He calculated this ratio on the basis of the land statistics data collected by the Central Statistical Committee in 1881 and 1893 in 46 gubernias of European Russia. The results of his work are presented in the cartogram indicating the southern and eastern borders of the prevailing three-field system of farming. This publication is mainly for historians focusing on the agrarian history and the works of Chayanov. The publication with comments was prepared by I. A. Kuznetsov and E. S. Grishin.

Alexander Chayanov

Editors: Igor A. Kuznetsov, PhD (History), Senior Researcher, Research Laboratory for Economic and Social History, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. 119571, Moscow, Vernadskogo Prosp., 82.
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Evgeny S. Grishin, Head of the Department of Historical Cartography and GeoInformation Systems, Research Laboratory for Economic and Social History, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. 119571, Moscow, Vernadskogo Prosp., 82.
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Kuznetsov I.A., Grishin E.S.  A.V. Chayanov as a researcher of the three-field system: A publishers’ preface // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2019. V.4. №2. P. 57-61.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2019-4-2-57-61

  • Annotation

  • About the authors

This is an article of Alexander Chayanov (1888–1937) first published in 1910 in the Agriculture and Forestry. The article is based on the graduate work of Chayanov written at the Moscow Agricultural Institute under the guidance of the Professor of agricultural economy and agricultural statistics A.F. Fortunatov. The article considers farming systems used by peasants on communal lands in the provinces of European Russia in the late 19th—early 20th centuries. Chayanov grouped main systems of the peasant economy into five types: three-field, two-field, many-field, transient (lea tillage), and upland farming. The key sources for the definition and localization of farming systems were the data of non-government (zemstvo) statistics and the descriptions of farming systems provided by local agronomists in a number of provinces. Chayanov also used the ratio of the sown and fallow lands as an indicator of the farming system. He calculated this ratio on the basis of the land statistics data collected by the Central Statistical Committee in 1881 and 1893 in 46 gubernias of European Russia. The results of his work are presented in the cartogram indicating the southern and eastern borders of the prevailing three-field system of farming. This publication is mainly for historians focusing on the agrarian history and the works of Chayanov

Igor A. Kuznetsov, PhD (History), Senior Researcher, Research Laboratory for Economic and Social History, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. 119571, Moscow, Vernadskogo Prosp., 82.
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Evgeny S. Grishin, Head of the Department of Historical Cartography and GeoInformation Systems, Research Laboratory for Economic and Social History, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. 119571, Moscow, Vernadskogo Prosp., 82.
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Chayanov A.V. A Short Course on Cooperation (Article of A.V. Chayanov) // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2019. V.4. №2. P. 8-56.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2019-4-2-8-56

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Translated from: Chayanov A., A Short Course on Cooperation Published by the Central Partnership “Cooperative Publishing House,” Moscow, 1925.

Peasant cooperative movement was one of the most important topics in Alexander Chayanov’s scientific, organizational and pedagogical work. He wrote many articles and books on agricultural cooperation, and had hundreds of classes with students at universities and with peasants to explain and discuss various cooperative issues. Finally, Chayanov presented his conception of the ways to develop agricultural cooperation in his famous book Basic Ideas and Forms of Peasant Cooperation2. At the same time, Chayanov was a talented and passionate popularizer and propagandist of cooperative knowledge among the wider population. Thus, on the basis of his lectures for the Old Believers’ Agricultural Courses “Friend of Land” in Moscow in 1915, he published a booklet A Short Course on Cooperation, and in the next 10 years it was reprinted four times and became a desk book on cooperation for many Russian peasants, agronomists, and activists of rural development. This short course presents clear and unambiguous definitions of cooperation and its aims; each chapter is illustrated with popular historical and contemporary examples of the cooperative movement and of the interaction between peasant farms and specific types of cooperatives. This booklet reminds of two great genres of world literature. On the one hand, it is a propaedeutic ABC of Cooperation, like Leo Tolstoy’s ABC for Children. On the other hand, it is a political-economic Cooperative Manifesto, similar to Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels Communist Manifesto, in which Chayanov describes a fascinating struggle of the Russian and international cooperative movement for the new just social world. Under the current rural development, Chayanov’s Short Course on Cooperation is not only of a historical interest; it is an outstanding example of the unity of cooperative thoughts and deeds aimed at improving the lives of the broad strata of rural workers all over the world. This Chayanov’s work was translated into English from its fourth and last lifetime edition of 19253.
The publication with comments was prepared by A.M. Nikulin.

Alexander Chayanov

Editor: Alexander Nikulin, PhD (Economics), Head of the Center for Agrarian Studies, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration; 119571, Moscow, Prosp. Vernadskogo, 82. 
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Translator: Irina Trotsuk, 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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Makarov N.P. At the great crossroads. The comparative analysis of the evolution of agriculture in China, the United States of North America, the USSR, and Western Europe (Article of N.P. Makarov) // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2019. V.4. №1. P. 6-21.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2019-4-1-6-21

  • Annotation

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This article published in the mid-1920s in the Peasant International was written by an outstanding Russian agrarian scientist and a prominent representative of the organization-production school Nikolai Pavlovich Makarov (1887–1980). It is quite strange that this article was not listed in the bibliographies of Makarov’s works although it is absolutely important for the understanding of the evolution of world agriculture in the 20th century. Moreover, the reader will see that in the second half of the 1920s the ideas of this article were developed in the works of other representatives of the organization-production school — A.V. Chayanov, G.S. Studensky, A.A. Rybnikov. As the title and the foreword of the article show, the author seeks to provide an analytical description of the main directions of the world agrarian evolution of the 1920s and its possible alternatives on the example of four main macro-regions of world agriculture: the USA, China, Western Europe and Russia. First the author focuses on the two so-called “poles” of agrarian development — the United States and China — and argues that “old” labor-intensive agrarian China and the “young” capital-intensive agrarian United States are the exact opposites of each other. It is between these poles that the paths of the agricultural evolution of most countries of the world, including Europe and Russia, are located. Makarov concludes with a preliminary diagnosis of the approaching “great agrarian crossroads” of world agriculture. The publication with comments was prepared by A.M. Nikulin.

Nikolai Pavlovich Makarov

Editor: Alexander Nikulin, PhD (Economics), Head of the Center for Agrarian Studies, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration; 119571, Moscow, Prosp. Vernadskogo, 82. 
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Berelowitch A. Basile Kerblay — an explorer of Russia // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2018. V.3. №4. P. 69-77.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2018-3-4-69-77

  • Annotation

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The article describes the milestones of the scientific biography of the prominent French sociologist and historian of the 20th century, Professor of Sorbonne University Basile Kerblay. The article presents the main themes of Kerblay’s works — history of Russia and sociology in the late Soviet society — in the context of the Western sovietology debates of the 1960s — 1970s and disputes of “totalitarianists” and “revisionists”. The author considers as distinctive features of Kerblay’s works his broad outlook, comparative approach to the study of Russian history, and lack of ideological bias. The article emphasizes the importance of Kerblay as one of the first biographers, researchers and publishers of A.V. Chayanov’s works on the theory of peasant economy. 

Alexis Berelowitch, University Paris — Sorbonne. France, Paris-5, Rue Victor-Cousin 1.
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Kerblay B. A.V. Chayanov. Evolution of the Russian agrarian thought from 1908 to 1930: At the crossroads (Article of B. Kerblay) // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2018. V.3. №4. P. 17-68.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2018-3-4-17-68

  • Annotation

  • About the authors

The Russian Peasant Studies presents a collection of archival documents related to the publication of Alexander Chayanov’s works in 1967 in France and England, which was prepared by the Professor of Sorbonne University Basile Kerblay. This collection includes the correspondence of Olga Gurevich, the widow of Chayanov, with Basile Kerblay in 1966-1970, and her translation from French of Kerblay’s article on the work of Chayanov. Kerblay’s article was published as a preface to the collected works of Chayanov and became classic. This is the first serious study of the biography and work of Chayanov and of the theory of the Russian organization-production school of the 1920s in Western sociology. This article is published in Russian for the first time. The letters of Kerblay and Olga Gurevich reveal some additional circumstances of the publication of Alexander Chayanov’s works in 1967 and some features of the ideological atmosphere of the USSR at that time. The collection of archival documents in the Russian Peasant Studies includes comments and a brief biography of Olga Gurevich. These documents are a part of the funds of the Russian State Archive of Economics. This publication is dedicated to the anniversary of Chayanov. The publication with comments was prepared by I.A. Kuznetsov and T.A. Savinova.

Basile Kerblay

Editors: Igor Kuznetsov, PhD (History), Senior Researcher, the School of Public Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. 119571, Moscow, Vernadskogo Prosp., 82.
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Tatiana Savinova, PhD (Economics), Head of Organizational-Methodical and Personnel Work Chair, Russian State Archive of Economy; 119992, Moscow, B. Pirogovskaya St., 17.
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Translator: Olga Gurevich

 

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The Russian Peasant Studies. Scientific journal

Center for Agrarian studies, The Russian Presidental Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA) Published since 2016. ISSN 2500-1809. Frequency - four issues per year. Registration number ПИ  ФС77-65824 27-May-2016. All volumes and articles are downloadable for free in PDF format.  Printed versions you can obtain in Editorial by request, buy in Delo Publishers e-store or make subscription in "Press of Russia" Agency (subscription index  Т81017). Full list of RANEPA Journlas

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