This title was first published in 2001. Of the many far reaching issues facing post-communist states in the wake of the collapse of communist rule, few have continued to pose such dilemmas for future progress as the land question. This book provides a historical account of national and local attempts to reform land ownership and agricultural production and in particular, the way in which land law defined the land question. Using archive work to demonstrate the selectivity of the law in righting wrongs and case studies to illustrate the practical obstacles to attempts at reconstructing the pre-communist system, this work is a critical and detailed portrait of the forces that stand to shape the future of post-communist rural life.
'The book is written in a thorough and thought-provoking way, and is a good introduction to land reforms in Romania as it is based on an extensive and carefully selected bibliography…it commendably uncovers less known facts of Romanian rural life, and gives the peasants' perspective to some very specific cases of land reforms' implementation, roofed by chronologically disciplined presentation of the economic and political background of the last two centuries…I recommend this book without reservation. It is worth reading by both the specialist on land reforms in Central and Eastern European countries (who would be familiar with the historical events, but would take pleasure in the detailed picture offered by the case studies) and the inquisitive reader not acquainted whatsoever with the subject.' European Review of Agricultural Economics '…a thorough examination of the recent reforms as well as outlining the historical antecedents…the book cuts a broad swathe through the history of Romania's modernisation, with a core area of originality and quite careful attention to referencing and Romanian spelling…' Rural History ’…provides a comprehensive overview of land relations and policy in Romania…’ Slavic Reviews
Contents: Introduction; The land question in the formation of modern Romania; Halting the Bolsheviks - land reform and economic development between the wars; Laying the ground - post-war land distribution; Transforming private property - collectivizing techniques 1948-62; Rural developments during the golden age of multilateral socialism: decline and fall; Rewriting history - post-communist land reform; Short rulers and lost vineyards - implementing land reform in Mirsid; Moving boundaries - implementing land reform in Plaiesti; Conclusion - the return of the peasant?; Appendix; Bibliography; Index.
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