When first published in 2008, The New Peasantries revolutionized our ways of thinking of what constitutes the peasantry and repeasantization. It showed how a new era of empire and globalization was creating new forms of peasantry.
This new edition is thoroughly revised, with a reorganization of chapters and several new chapters added. It includes a new chapter on China, based on the author's extensive fieldwork there, and much more information on Brazil. It integrates and critically reviews the many publications on peasants, peasantries and peasant modes of agricultural production published in recent years. The theoretical discussion is enriched with more attention to the seminal work of Chayanov. Greater attention is also paid to the construction of new markets – a theme that will remain a major issue in the coming decade. It combines and integrates different bodies of literature: the rich traditions of peasant studies, development and rural sociology, neo-institutional economics and debates on empire and globalization.
The original book has been used in several international postgraduate courses. The experience and feedback thus obtained has been used to simplify the structure of the book and make it more accessible as a textbook for students.
Table of Contents
1. Peasants and peasant agriculture: basic concepts and data
2. A further specification of peasant agriculture
3. Delineating and comparing peasant and entrepreneurial farming
4. Rural Development: Processes of Repeasantization in Europe
5. The struggle for land in Latin America: waves of repeasantization and depeasantization
6. China: the potential of peasant agriculture
7. Self-organizing territories
8. The construction of new, nested markets
9. Theorizing the peasantries of the 21st century
10. Food Empires and the Peasant Principle
Jan Douwe van der Ploeg is Emeritus Professor of Rural Sociology Group at Wageningen University, the Netherlands, and Adjunct Professor, College of Humanities and Development Studies at China Agricultural University in Beijing, China.
"The New Peasantries has a wide readership, ranging from scholars and students, to practitioners and officials. By solid examination of the essence of peasants and peasant farming, the author successfully affirms that a world with peasants is definitely a better place than one without them." - Jingzhong Ye, Professor and Dean of the College of Humanities and Development Studies, China Agricultural University, China
"Van der Ploeg’s new edition of The New Peasantries is a fascinating analysis and a must read for those who want to understand the persistence, meanings and contributions of peasant agriculture in modern times. With detailed empirical research, Van der Ploeg tackles those who argue that peasants no longer exist, or if they do, they must surely be on their way to extinction. Instead, The New Peasantries, engagingly documents the complexities of repeasantization, that include, among other things, a whole lot of hard work, imagination, innovation and resistance." - Annette Aurélie Desmarais, Canada Research Chair in Human Rights, Social Justice and food Sovereignty, University of Manitoba, Canada
"The New Peasantries is a must read for all academics, activists and development practitioners who are keen to see reinvigorated political struggles against social injustice and for enduring alternatives, not just in and for agrarian societies but for the world in general." - Saturnino M. Borras Jr., Professor of Agrarian Studies, International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), the Netherlands
Praise for the first edition
"Jan Douwe van der Ploeg combines long engagement in the empirical study of farming and farmers, and of alternative agricultures, in very different parts of the world, with a sophisticated analytical acumen and capacity to provoke in fruitful ways." - Henry Bernstein, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, UK
"This book makes a timely and original contribution. The author revitalizes our interest in peasant societies through an in-depth examination of how rural populations in state systems respond to neo-liberal globalization." - Robert E. Rhoades, Distinguished Research Professor, University of Georgia, US
"There is an increasing interest in this topic, especially as the author links the debate on the peasantry with Empire and Globalization. He has an excellent reputation in the field and is highly qualified to write this book, which draws on his extensive worldwide experience with the issues he discusses." - Cristobal Kay, International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), the Netherlands
"This is a courageous book offering hope from the past for the future." - Professor John Hodges, AGRI