This comprehensive volume advances heterodox reconstructions of agrarian Marxism on the occasion of Marx’s 200th birth anniversary. While Marxists have long criticized ‘populists’ for ignoring capitalism and class, populists have charged Marxists with historical determinism. This ongoing debate has now reached something of an impasse, in part because new empirical work addressing the complex contemporary patterns and conjunctures of global agrarian capitalism offers exciting new horizons, along with new and generative theoretical reconstructions of Marxism itself. This book helps to point the way beyond this impasse, and illustrates that agrarian Marxism remains a dynamic theoretical program that offers powerful insights into agrarian change and politics in the twenty-first century.
This book was originally published as a special issue of The Journal of Peasant Studies.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: Agrarian Marxism
Michael Levien, Michael Watts and Yan Hairong
2. An urban proletariat with peasant characteristics: land occupations and livestock raising in South Africa
3. ‘Hot chocolate’: financialized global value chains and cocoa production in Ecuador
Thomas F. Purcell
4. Conjugated oppression within contemporary capitalism: class, caste, tribe and agrarian change in India
Jens Lerche and Alpa Shah
5. Gender and class relations in rural India
6. Custom and exploitation: rethinking the origins of the modern African chieftaincy in the political economy of colonialism
7. Agrarian questions of labor in urban India: middle migrants, translocal householding and the intersectional politics of social reproduction
Vinay Gidwani and Priti Ramamurthy
8. From South Africa to China: land, migrant labor and the semi-proletarian thesis revisited
Shaohua Zhan and Ben Scully
9. The politics of classes of labour: fragmentation, reproduction zones and collective action in Karnataka, India
10. Social reproduction of ‘classes of labour’ in the rural areas of South Africa: contradictions and contestations
Ben Cousins, Alex Dubb, Donna Hornby and Farai Mtero
11. Without the blanket of the land: agrarian change and biopolitics in post–Apartheid South Africa
Andries du Toit
12. Marx and Chayanov at the margins: understanding agrarian change in Java
13. The ‘peasant problem’ in the Russian revolution(s), 1905–1929
Michael Levien is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Johns Hopkins University, USA. He is the author of Dispossession without Development: Land Grabs in Neoliberal India (2018).
Michael Watts is Class of 63 Emeritus Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of California Berkeley, USA.
Yan Hairong teaches in the Department of Applied Social Sciences at Hong Kong Polytechnic University. She is the author of New Masters, New Servants: Migration, Development, and Women Workers in China (2008), and co-author of The Chinese are the Worst?: Human Rights and Labor Practices in Zambian Mining (2012) and China in Africa: Discourses and Practices (in Chinese, 2017).