Initially published in 1983, in association with the International Labour Organisation (ILO), this book is about the meaning, relevance and process of agrarian reform in contemporary developing countries. It includes seven detailed case studies – one each on Ethiopia, Peru, Chile, Nicaragua, Iran, Kerala, (India) and West Bengal (India). In all the cases, serious contemporary efforts were made to implement agrarian reform programmes and the case studies focus upon selected aspects of this reform process – origins, basic characteristics, problems of implementation and immediate consequences.
Each region differs considerably in terms of socio-economic and administrative conditions, but when the reform efforts are placed in their respective historical contexts, several common themes emerge which are dealt with in detail. In all cases, it is clear that agrarian reform is essentially a political process, requiring major social movements and that piecemeal reforms will not solve the grave problems of growth, distribution and poverty in the Third World.
Part I: Introduction 1. Agrarian Reform in Developing Countries: Issues of Theory and Problems of Practice Part II: Towards Peasant Economy Systems 2. Agrarian Reform in Kerala and its Impact on the Rural Economy – a Preliminary Assessment 3. Agrarian Reform in West Bengal: Objectives, Achievements and Limitations Part III: On the Road to Collectivism 4. Agrarian Reform, Structural Changes and Rural Development in Ethiopia 5. The Agrarian Reform in Peru: an Assessment 6. Agrarian Reform and Structural Change in Chile, 1865-79 7. Agrarian Reform and Rural Development in Nicaragua, 1979-1981 Part IV: In Search of Modernism 8. The Agrarian Question in Iran