Agrarian Reform in Russia

Agrarian Reform in Russia : The Road from Serfdom

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This book examines the history of reforms and major state interventions affecting Russian agriculture: the abolition of serfdom in 1861, the Stolypin reforms, the NEP, the Collectivization, Khrushchev reforms, and finally farm enterprise privatization in the early 1990s. It shows a pattern emerging from a political imperative in imperial, Soviet, and post-Soviet regimes, and it describes how these reforms were justified in the name of the national interest during severe crises - rapid inflation, military defeat, mass strikes, rural unrest, and/or political turmoil. It looks at the consequences of adversity in the economic environment for rural behavior after reform and at long-run trends. It has chapters on property rights, rural organization, and technological change. It provides a new database for measuring agricultural productivity from 1861 to 1913 and updates these estimates to the present. This book is a study of the policies aimed at reorganizing rural production and their effectiveness in transforming institutions.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text | 416 pages
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 9781139005418

Table of contents

Part I. Dilemmas of Agrarian Reform in Russia: 1. Imperial reform, 1861-1913; 2. The NEP and Soviet era reforms, 1921-89; 3. Transition agrarian reform, 1991-2008; Part II. Russian Law and Rural Organization, 1861-2008: 4. Property rights reform; 5. Rural organization and entrepreneurship; Part. III. Russian Agricultural Performance, 1861-2008: 6. Technology and farming culture; 7. The productivity of Russian agriculture; Conclusion; Appendices.
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Review quote

'This book is rich and informative, placing agrarian reforms in a full macroeconomic context and allowing them to be understood as part of the history of Russian transitions. This is a must-read.' Brigitte Granville, Queen Mary, University of London 'There isn't another book on the market that succeeds in the ambitious goal of tying Russian agricultural reform to economic performance over more than 150 years. The conclusion that the positive effects of reform are only evident over a long period of time carries important policy implications.' Paul R. Gregory, University of Houston 'Agrarian Reform in Russia: The Road from Serfdom is a broad-reaching, ambitious survey and analysis of agricultural change and reform in Russia from the emancipation of 1861 to the present day ... Anyone interested in the fascinating debate on the rural commune's origin, development, functioning, and legacy, and its role in maintaining tradition as well as facilitating change, will find this book an excellent starting place.' Revolutionary Russia 'An impressive book ... packed with detail.' Slavonic and East European Review 'This is a richly-textured book, and it includes significant statistical evidence, especially relating to agricultural performance between 1861 and 1911. Its themes are illuminated by the author's own experience as an advisor to the Russian government on agricultural policy in the 1990s and Leonard's work is not simply a piece of historical scholarship, but offers broad observations on the nature of Agrarian policy making in Russia.' Peter Waldron, European History Quarterly
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About Carol S. Leonard

Dr Carol S. Leonard is a Fellow of St Antony's College, Oxford, and University Lecturer, University of Oxford. She is the author of Reform and Regicide: The Reign of Peter III (1993) and numerous scholarly articles. She is also the editor of Microeconomic Change in Central and Eastern Europe (2002) and the co-editor of Agrarian Organization during Industrialization: Europe, Russia and America in the Nineteenth Century (1989) (with George Grantham). She has also served as the US Treasury economic and budget advisor for agriculture to the Russian Ministry of Finance and as a consultant for the Harvard Institute for International Development Macroeconomic Unit in Kyiv, Ukraine, and the National Bank of Kazakhstan. She has taught public sector economics at the St Petersburg School of Management and the economics of science and technology for the graduate program in management and innovation at the Eurasian National University in Astana.
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