Theory

Rogozin D.M. Peasant son Anton Bolshakov (1887–1941): A scientific obituary of the executed historian, sociologist and local historian // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2023. V.8. №3. P. 27-45.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2023-8-3-27-45

Annotation

The article presents a scientific biography of the outstanding Russian historian, sociologist and local historian Anton Mikhailovich Bolshakov (1887–1941). The author outlines the milestones of his scientific career: from historical research to the ethnographic and local-historical descriptions of the Soviet village. The most fruitful, productive period of his scientific activity was in the 1920s, when the NEP provided new opportunities not only for entrepreneurs but also for researchers and activists — to realize their intentions and strengths. Despite poverty, censorship and partisanship of the mass media and science, the 1920s were a golden time for the Soviet humanitarian thought and social research. The article identifies three most important directions in Bolshakov’s scientific work: (1) expansion of historical knowledge through the systematic development of related disciplines; (2) promotion of economic history as a collection of documents, statistical analysis and observations; (3) development of rural sociology as a regular observation of the peasantry’s life. Despite attempts to adapt to the Soviet regime’s demands for control and supervision, Bolshakov failed to avoid repression, and he realized the tragedy and ambiguity of his situation. On March 6, 1939, he was arrested, convicted by the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court of the Soviet Union on charges of participation in the counter-revolutionary terrorist organization, sentenced to death on July 9, 1941, and executed on July 27, 1941. Bolshakov was rehabilitated on September 1, 1956, by the decision of the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court of the Soviet Union 15 years later.

Keywords

History of the Russian sociology of the 1920s, historical sociology, peasant studies, rural sociology, economic history.

About the author

Rogozin Dmitry M., PhD (Sociology), Head of the Center for Field Research, Institute of Social Analysis and Forecasting, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. Prechistenskaya Nab., 11, bldg. 1, Moscow, 119034, Russia.
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

 

 

Gordon A.V. The phenomenon of protest in peasant culture // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2023. V.8. №3. P. 6-26.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2023-8-3-6-26

Annotation

The article considers peasant protests as a form of the peasantry’s life activity in pre-capitalist class societies, which is not adequately interpreted in popular approaches that emphasize the antagonistic nature of such societies, ignore the possibilities of non-antagonistic interaction of social subjects, absolutize the factor of cruel exploitation of peasants, ignoring the certain success of their resistance. Features of peasant protest are determined by the nature of the peasantry as a social community both autonomous and dependent on macro-social environment (‘part-society, part-culture’, according to A. Kreber, R. Redfield). The combination of autonomy and dependence developed in ancient times as a part of the worldview of primitive agricultural societies. Anthropologists consider the so-called gift-exchange relations of such societies with powerful external forces, whose favor was achieved in exchange for a certain part of peasant produce. The mythologeme of a peculiar balance of services according to the ancient principle of do ut des was preserved by the so-called patriarchal worldview in class societies, while the balance was maintained by the everyday peasant resistance to the excessive seizure of their produce and to the gross personal oppression. Such resistance, conceptualized by J. Scott as ‘weapons of the weak’, implied sabotage of landlords’ orders, their untimely or improper execution, theft or damage of masters’ property. An open fight or rebellion meant the exhaustion of the potential for nonviolent resistance. Protesters sought to restore what they considered to be a just order with extreme forms of disobedience: from plowing masters’ land and cutting down forests to direct vandalism and looting, including plundering masters’ property, setting fire to homesteads, mocking or even killing masters and those representing for peasants the order they hated. The highest form of traditional social protest — peasant wars — led to devastation of entire regions and numerous casualties. However, given the power of their traditional worldview, peasants wanted to replace the ruler who had lost legitimacy but not to destroy social hierarchy — in order to restore the autonomy of the communal order and the rights to manage land. Peasant revolutionary ideas were the result of the destruction of the traditional worldview which was undermined by the introduction of egalitarian, socialist, and anarchist ideologemes ‘from outside’.

Keywords

Peasant movement, peasant culture, peasant war, social protest, nonviolent resistance, rebellion, revolution in Russia, V. I. Lenin.

About the author

Gordon Alexander V., DSc (History), Chief Researcher, Institute of Scientific Information for Social Sciences, Russian Academy of Sciences, Nakhimovsky prosp., 51/21, Moscow, 117418, Russia.
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

 

 

Didenko D.V. How demographic shocks affected the production-factor income and the institutional path of the Russian pre-industrial economy // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2023. V.8. №2. P. 6-20.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2023-8-2-6-20

Annotation

The author considers several Russian cases of population-loss shocks in the 14th — 17th centuries and their consequences for the production-factor markets, comparing them with those in England. The article aims at verifying theoretical ideas and at tracing the institutional path of mediaeval Russia’s development based on the empirical data represented in the research works, two chronicles and the legal act (Code of 1649). The author’s review of narratives and statistical data contributes to the historical comparative studies of economic systems and of the path dependence in the institutional economic history. The article contributes to the explanation of the causes of the ‘Little Divergence’ between (North)western and (South)eastern Europe in the 15th — 19th centuries, and of the roots of the ‘Great Divergence’ between Europe and Asia in the 18th — 20th centuries. The author argues that the empirical evidence from the Soviet Marxist economic historiography is consistent with the recent findings of the neo-Malthusian structural-demographic theory supported by the Cliodynamics school of quantitative history. After the shocks, wages rose in Russia just as in England. The dynamics of the skill premia highlights the background for formation of human capital ingredients in the bowels of the pre-industrial societies. Contrary to England, serfdom, one of the most extractive institutions, remained in Russia as a response of landlords to the pressure from the disadvantageous combination of production-factor incomes, which led to an increase in land rent to wage ratio and to reliance on land-saving (versus labour-saving) technologies in agriculture.

Keywords

Land rent, real wage, skill premia, Black Death, Time of Troubles, serfdom, Malthusian growth regime, structural-demographic theory.

About the author

Didenko Dmitry V., DSc (Economics), PhD (History), Leading Researcher, Centre for Studies in Economic and Social History; Professor, Department of Social and Economic History, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. Prosp. Vernadskogo, 82, Moscow, 119571.
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

 

Chayanov A.V. Reports “Popular readings’ method”; “Characteristics and general requirements for visualization” (Reports of A.V. Chayanov) // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2023. V.8. №1. P. 11-22.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2023-8-1-11-22

Annotation

The author presents two A. V. Chayanov’s reports on the methodology for disseminating agronomic knowledge among the peasantry — “Popular readings’ method” and “Characteristics and general requirements for visualization”. Chayanov’s presentations were made at the meetings of the Circle of Social Agronomy of the Moscow Agricultural Institute in 1914–1915 and became the basis of the chapter in his book Main Ideas and Methods of Social Agronomy.

Keywords

A. V. Chayanov, Moscow Agricultural Institute, social agronomy, visual aids, poster.

About the authors

Chayanov Alexander V.
Savinova Tatyana
 A., PhD (Economics), Head of the Department, Russian State Archive of Economy (RGAE). Bolshaya Pirogovskaya St., 17, Moscow, 119435.
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

 

 

Korandei F.S. Rural wastelands: Places of belonging and “ghosts” cartography of the rural depopulation landscape // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2023. V.8. №1. P. 23-44.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2023-8-1-23-44

Annotation

The interpretation of the walking interviews, which were conducted in the rural Iset Region in the summer of 2022, allowed the author to identify “places of belonging” (Yi-Fu Tuan’s term) in the rural depopulation landscape, which are hardly noticeable to any external observer but are extremely important for local residents. The author uses the post-phenomenological optics of social sciences, which defines the cultural everyday landscape as a single process of mutual transformation that generates both personal experience and forms of sociality. The second theoretical basis of the article is the cultural geography works on the connections between everyday landscape and human memory, in particular the “ghosts geography”, and the thin line between the present and the absent in both everyday landscapes and narratives about them. The author’s method is walking interviews with local residents in open areas. The article aims at showing the possibilities of the simultaneous transcription and subsequent mapping of the walking interviews’ archives. The cases considered in the main part of the article focus on the structuring role of “places of belonging” in the standard narrative. As walking interviews show, it is the presentation of local places to a newcomer as important for the daily life of local people but hardly noticeable to outsiders that forms the basis of the typical go-along narratives. Thus, places out of active everyday use but with great emotional and vital significance for local communities acquire the status of “ghosts” — fragments of the past involved in the today’s life of the depopulating rural settlement.

Keywords

“Places of belonging’, walking interviews, place, rural depopulation, everyday cultural landscape, “ghosts” geography, cultural geography, social anthropology.

About the author

Korandei Fedor S., PhD (History), Senior Researcher, Laboratory of Historical Geography and Regional Studies, Tyumen State University. Volodarskogo St., 6, Tyumen, 625003.
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

 

Savinova T.A. “Everything conceivable can be an issue of science” // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2023. V.8. №1. P. 6-10.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2023-8-1-6-10

Annotation

The author presents two A. V. Chayanov’s reports on the methodology for disseminating agronomic knowledge among the peasantry — “Popular readings’ method” and “Characteristics and general requirements for visualization”. Chayanov’s presentations were made at the meetings of the Circle of Social Agronomy of the Moscow Agricultural Institute in 1914–1915 and became the basis of the chapter in his book Main Ideas and Methods of Social Agronomy.

Keywords

A. V. Chayanov, Moscow Agricultural Institute, social agronomy, visual aids, poster.

About the author

Savinova Tatyana A., PhD (Economics), Head of the Department, Russian State Archive of Economy (RGAE). Bolshaya Pirogovskaya St., 17, Moscow, 119435.
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

 

 

Kotliarov I. D. Heterogeneity of stakeholders as an obstacle to the development of cooperatives in Russia // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2022. V.7. №4. P. 20-32.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2022-7-4-20-32

Annotation

The paper presents a new approach to the explanation of the failure of cooperative model in the post-Soviet agriculture. This approach is based on the stakeholder theory: thus, performing all functions of heterogeneous stakeholders on the regular basis may be too resource-intensive, and cooperative members may not have enough competencies for such tasks. First, the study supplements the existing research by providing a new explanation for the non-attractiveness of the cooperative business organization for Russian farmers. Second, the paper presents a link between the stakeholder theory of cooperatives and the theory of cooperative organization as developed by Ivan Emelianoff (1995) in his groundbreaking work Economic Theory of Cooperation. Third, the study proves in a new way the hybrid nature of cooperatives. The author focuses on agricultural cooperatives; however, the conclusions are valid for cooperative organizations in other industries. The paper starts with a short note on methodology — a description of stakeholder theory as applied to the study of cooperative organizations and a study of the hybrid nature of cooperatives; then follows a review of main research directions in the study of the failure of the cooperative movement in Russian agriculture, a section on the contradictions between the stakeholder theory of cooperatives and the farmers’ interests of farmers, and a section on the possible ways for resolving these contradictions. New forms of business organization should emerge as a compromise between an ideal firm and an ideal cooperative. These new forms would help farmers to benefit from cooperation instead of formal participation in it.

Keywords

Cooperative, stakeholder theory, platform, heterogeneity of stakeholders.

About the author

Kotliarov Ivan D., PhD (Economics), Associate Professor, National Research University Higher School of Economics (Saint Petersburg). Адрес. Ulitsa Kantemirovskaya, dom 3, korpus 1, liter A 194100 St. Petersburg, Russian Federation.
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

 

Mindlin Yu. B., Novikov M. V., Yakovleva O. A. Assessment and ways to increase the rate of return in the Russian medium-sized agricultural enterprises // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2022. V.7. №4. P. 6-19.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2022-7-4-6-19

Annotation

The rate of return (profitability) is the category that allows evaluation of financial, production and other costs of the enterprise. The detailed analysis of return ratios enables to regulate the enterprise financial system and has a positive effect on its financial performance. The article considers the method of the rate of return assessment and suggests the ways to increase it. The case of the medium-sized agro-industrial company was used. Based on the financial performance of the enterprise, the range of the rate of return indicators was calculated, such as fixed assets, rate of return on current assets and on equity capital, gross profit margin, operating and net profit margin. Based on the calculations, the authors show that the rate of return of the enterprise increased, and a high efficiency of operations was observed. However, at the same time, there are tasks to be solved. One of them is to introduce a payment schedule. The analysis of the financial effect of the payment schedule introduction showed that it increased the current rate of return of the enterprise by 10%.

Keywords

Rate of return, enterprise, return ratios, costs, financial system, rate of return assessment.

About the authors

Mindlin Yury B., PhD (Economics), Associate Professor, K. I. Scriabin Moscow State Academy of Veterinary Medicine and Biotechnology. 109472, Moscow, Akademika Scriabina St., 23.
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Novikov Mikhail V., PhD (Technical Sciences), Associate Professor, K. I. Scriabin Moscow State Academy of Veterinary Medicine and Biotechnology. 109472, Moscow, Akademika Scriabina St., 23.
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Yakovleva Olga A., PhD (Agricultural Sciences), Associate Professor, K. I. Scriabin Moscow State Academy of Veterinary Medicine and Biotechnology. 109472, Moscow, Akademika Scriabina St., 23.
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

 

 

Chayanov A. V. Organization of agricultural production at the local level (Article of A.V. Chayanov in English) // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2022. V.7. №3. P. 21-34.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2022-7-3-21-34

Annotation

This typescript was found in the fund of the Soviet party economist Lev Natanovich Kritzman (F. 528) in the Archive of the Russian Academy of Sciences (ARAS), and has never been published before. The typescript consists of 16 sheets without an autograph or any handwritten corrections and marks. The typescript does not have any direct indications of the time of its creation. There are two more documents: a letter to Kritsman of December 26, 1929, and a fragment of the text written by Chayanov’s hand, which is very close to this typescript and seems to be one of its drafts. On the back of this sheet, there is an inscription — “2nd House of Soviets. Room 327. To L. N. Kritzman from A. Chayanov”.
The typescript presents the concept of the gradual ‘rooting’ of the peasant economy in socialism through the voluntary ‘cooperative collectivization’ and with the incentive mechanisms of a purely economic nature. We can see similar theoretical bases in Lenin’s ‘cooperative plan’ and Bukharin’s theory of the peaceful ingrowth of capitalist elements into socialism. In these ideological-theoretical alternatives to Stalin’s collectivization, the peasant was considered a full-fledged subject of the economic activity and socialist construction, who needed all possible assistance with the state policy measures rather than commands.
Chayanov refused to choose between the state-farm construction and the total socialization of the peasant agricultural sector. He developed an alternative program of socialist construction, which included the thorough revision of his own positions on some issues. Based on the data, Chayanov sought to show how far the Soviet village had moved from the pinnacle of the pre-war economic development, and that the Soviet peasantry had ceased to be ‘an object of the agronomic influence’. Thus, according to Chayanov, in contemporary realities, old methods and schemes of agronomic work became ineffective.
Archivists dated the documents in the file to 1930. We do not know reasons for such dating, but it raises some doubts. We can be certain about relative dating and the lower chronological frame — 1927. According to the address-reference book All Moscow, Kritzman moved to Room 327 of the 2nd House of Soviets in 1927 (All Moscow (1927) Address-Reference Book for 1927: 3rd year of publication by the Moscow Council; with the new plan for the city of Moscow, Moscow, p. 147).
There are more doubts about the upper chronological frame. If all these documents are really related to each other, the text should be dated according to the letter to Kritzman. Chayanov wrote that he had not finished an agronomic essay (in collaboration with P. Ya. Gurov and S.G. Uzhansky), because he was terribly upset by the first days of work of the First All-Union Conference of Marxist Agrarians. Moreover, Chayanov “did not get Sadyrin’s article, which made him throw away the whole ‘reality’ and end his ‘cooperation’ in the same purely theoretical terms as he had started” (ARAS. F. 528. Inv. 5. F. 137. L. 1). Chayanov could mean his articles for the Great Soviet Encyclopedia, in which Kritzman edited the section of economic sciences and the subsection of economic policy until 1931; or for one of the periodicals, in which Kritzman was a member of the editorial board (for instance, On the Agrarian Front). Chayanov could use the word ‘cooperation’ as a title for the typescript sent to Kritzman for proofreading and editing.
By the end of 1929, Chayanov was in an extremely difficult situation, and it became even worse after the First All-Union Conference of Marxist Agrarians, at which Chayanov and his colleagues were ideologically persecuted. Probably, after Stalin’s speech, Kritzman decided to postpone or abandon this publication. There is no article by Chayanov in the Great Soviet Encyclopedia, and no articles by Gurov or Uzhansky in the corresponding volumes; and this typescript was not published.
If our reasoning is correct, Chayanov’s courage can hardly be overestimated: under the huge ideological and psychological pressure, he decided to publicly announce his disagreement with Stalin’s course.
Editor’s notes are marked as Ed. and given in square brackets.

Keywords

Chayanov, collectivization, peasantry, state, social agronomy, socialism.

About the authors

Chayanov Alexander V.
Afanasenkov Vladislav O. (publisher), Senior Researcher, Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences; Junior Researcher, Research Centre for Economic and Social History, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. Vernadskogo Prosp., 82, Moscow, 119571, Russia.
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
Trotsuk Irina V. (translator), DSc (Sociology), Professor, Sociology Chair, RUDN University; Senior Researcher, Center for Agrarian Studies, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. 119571, Moscow, Vernadskogo Prosp, 82.
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

 

 

Chayanov A. V. Organization of agricultural production at the local level (Article of A.V. Chayanov in Russian) // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2022. V.7. №3. P. 6-20.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2022-7-3-6-20

Annotation

This typescript was found in the fund of the Soviet party economist Lev Natanovich Kritzman (F. 528) in the Archive of the Russian Academy of Sciences (ARAS), and has never been published before. The typescript consists of 16 sheets without an autograph or any handwritten corrections and marks. The typescript does not have any direct indications of the time of its creation. There are two more documents: a letter to Kritsman of December 26, 1929, and a fragment of the text written by Chayanov’s hand, which is very close to this typescript and seems to be one of its drafts. On the back of this sheet, there is an inscription — “2nd House of Soviets. Room 327. To L. N. Kritzman from A. Chayanov”.
The typescript presents the concept of the gradual ‘rooting’ of the peasant economy in socialism through the voluntary ‘cooperative collectivization’ and with the incentive mechanisms of a purely economic nature. We can see similar theoretical bases in Lenin’s ‘cooperative plan’ and Bukharin’s theory of the peaceful ingrowth of capitalist elements into socialism. In these ideological-theoretical alternatives to Stalin’s collectivization, the peasant was considered a full-fledged subject of the economic activity and socialist construction, who needed all possible assistance with the state policy measures rather than commands.
Chayanov refused to choose between the state-farm construction and the total socialization of the peasant agricultural sector. He developed an alternative program of socialist construction, which included the thorough revision of his own positions on some issues. Based on the data, Chayanov sought to show how far the Soviet village had moved from the pinnacle of the pre-war economic development, and that the Soviet peasantry had ceased to be ‘an object of the agronomic influence’. Thus, according to Chayanov, in contemporary realities, old methods and schemes of agronomic work became ineffective.
Archivists dated the documents in the file to 1930. We do not know reasons for such dating, but it raises some doubts. We can be certain about relative dating and the lower chronological frame — 1927. According to the address-reference book All Moscow, Kritzman moved to Room 327 of the 2nd House of Soviets in 1927 (All Moscow (1927) Address-Reference Book for 1927: 3rd year of publication by the Moscow Council; with the new plan for the city of Moscow, Moscow, p. 147).
There are more doubts about the upper chronological frame. If all these documents are really related to each other, the text should be dated according to the letter to Kritzman. Chayanov wrote that he had not finished an agronomic essay (in collaboration with P. Ya. Gurov and S.G. Uzhansky), because he was terribly upset by the first days of work of the First All-Union Conference of Marxist Agrarians. Moreover, Chayanov “did not get Sadyrin’s article, which made him throw away the whole ‘reality’ and end his ‘cooperation’ in the same purely theoretical terms as he had started” (ARAS. F. 528. Inv. 5. F. 137. L. 1). Chayanov could mean his articles for the Great Soviet Encyclopedia, in which Kritzman edited the section of economic sciences and the subsection of economic policy until 1931; or for one of the periodicals, in which Kritzman was a member of the editorial board (for instance, On the Agrarian Front). Chayanov could use the word ‘cooperation’ as a title for the typescript sent to Kritzman for proofreading and editing.
By the end of 1929, Chayanov was in an extremely difficult situation, and it became even worse after the First All-Union Conference of Marxist Agrarians, at which Chayanov and his colleagues were ideologically persecuted. Probably, after Stalin’s speech, Kritzman decided to postpone or abandon this publication. There is no article by Chayanov in the Great Soviet Encyclopedia, and no articles by Gurov or Uzhansky in the corresponding volumes; and this typescript was not published.
If our reasoning is correct, Chayanov’s courage can hardly be overestimated: under the huge ideological and psychological pressure, he decided to publicly announce his disagreement with Stalin’s course.
Editor’s notes are marked as Ed. and given in square brackets.

Keywords

Chayanov, collectivization, peasantry, state, social agronomy, socialism.

About the authors

Chayanov Alexander V.
Afanasenkov Vladislav O. (publisher), Senior Researcher, Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences; Junior Researcher, Research Centre for Economic and Social History, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. Vernadskogo Prosp., 82, Moscow, 119571, Russia.
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

 

 

Russian Peasant Studies. Scientific journal

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

e-issn