Rationale for the course

This course would review the major theoretical debates on the agrarian question in backward and developing economies. The course would engage with the literature on the place of agriculture in developing economies, the Marxist debates on the agrarian question in the late-19th and early-20th centuries, the ways in which neo-classical economics and new institutional economics has dealt with questions on agrarian relations and the nature of rural transformation in developing countries with the onset of globalisation. The course would also use case studies to illustrate the transformation of agrarian relations in different regions of the world, including the early socialist economies.

Objectives of the course

The course has three major objectives. First, it aims to introduce the students to the debates from multiple perspectives in the field of agrarian studies. Secondly, it aims to equip the students to apply the lessons from these debates to understand the rural socio-economic institutions in selected regions of the developing world. Thirdly, it aims to acquaint the students to not just the theoretical debates, but also to systematic village surveys and studies from the developing world so that the methods in these studies and the insights from the field better illuminate their understanding of agrarian relations.