Peasant Poverty and Persistence in the 21st Century

Peasant Poverty and Persistence in the 21st Century

PUBLICATION: New book in the CROP International Studies in Poverty Research Series, published by Zed Books, London. Edited by Julio Boltvinik and Susan Archer Mann. OPEN ACCESS

15 August 2016


Peasants are a majority of the world's poor. Despite this, there has been little effort to bridge the fields of peasant and poverty studies. Peasant Poverty and Persistence provides a much-needed critical perspective linking three central questions. ​First, the century-old 'agrarian question': Why, compared to other capitalist forms of Production, has the peasantry persisted? Second, the 'agrarian poverty question': Why are a vast majority of peasants poor? Third, (how) are the first two questions related?

Interweaving contributions from various disciplines, the book provides a range of responses offering new theoretical, historical and policy perspectives.

​'A provocative examination of the persistence of the world's peasantry and rural poverty that explores, challenges, and significantly advances one of the most influential lineages of scholarship that has shaped the contemporary sociology and political economy of agriculture.'

- Patrick H. Mooney, University of Kentucky

Book presentation and overview (pdf)

Peasant Poverty cover

The book can be ordered from Zed Books

Foreword by Meghnad Desai 

Introduction by Julio Boltvinik and Susan Archer Mann

Chapter 1: Poverty and persistence of the peasantry: background paper
Julio Boltvinik

Chapter 2: Rethinking rustic issues: contributions to a theory of contemporary peasantry
Armando Bartra


Chapter 3: From field to fork: labour power, its reproduction, and the persistence of peasant poverty
Gordon Welty, Susan Archer Mann, James Dickinson and Emily Blumenfeld 

Chapter 4: Baroque modernity and peasant poverty in the twenty-first century
Luis Arizmendi

Chapter 5: Agriculture/industry, rural/urban, peasants/workers: some reflections on poverty, persistence and change
Henry Bernstein

Chapter 6: Employment and rural poverty in Mexico
Araceli Damian and Edith Pacheco

Chapter 7: From the persistence of the peasantry in capitalism to the environmentalism of indigenous peoples and the sustainability of life
​Enrique Leff

Chapter 8: South American peasants and poor farmers facing global environmental change: a development dilemma
 Elma Montana

Chapter 9: Financialisation of the food sector and peasants' persistence
Kostas Vergopoulos 

Chapter 10: The rise and fall of the agrarian welfare state: peasants, globalisation, and the privatisation of development
Farshad A. Araghi

Chapter 11: Overcoming rural poverty from the bottom up
David Barkin and Blanca Lemus

Chapter 12: Dialogues and debates on peasant poverty and persistence: around the background paper and beyond
Julio Boltvinik


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