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Class Dynamics of Agrarian Change

Henry Bernstein
Class Dynamics of Agrarian Change
ISBN: 978-1-56549-356-8
ISBN: 978-1-56549-363-6
2010/142 pages/LC: 2010018895
A Kumarian Press Book
"The most sweeping, original, and discerning class analysis of agrarian history in many decades ... essential reading for any and all agraristas both inside and outside the academy."—James C. Scott, Yale University

"Bernstein shows that a 'little book' can be a tour de force. Decades of scholarship are lightly worn and compellingly revealed in this treasure chest of a book. It should be essential reading for all development students (whatever age) and activists (wherever they work)."—Barbara Harriss-White, University of Oxford


Henry Bernstein argues that class dynamics should be the starting point of any analysis of agrarian change. Providing an accessible introduction to agrarian political economy, he shows clearly how the argument for "bringing class back in" provides an alternative to inherited conceptions of the agrarian question. He also ably illustrates what is at stake in different ways of thinking about class dynamics and the effects of agrarian change in today's globalized world.


Henry Bernstein is professor emeritus of development studies at the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies.


  • Introduction: The Political Economy of Agrarian Change.
  • Production and Productivity.
  • Origins of Early Development of Capitalism.
  • Colonialism and Capitalism.
  • Farming and Agriculture, Local and Global.
  • Neoliberal Globalization and World Agriculture.
  • Capitalist Agriculture and Non-Capitalist Farmers?
  • Class Formation in the Countryside.
  • Complexities of Class.
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