|Course Type||Course Code||No. Of Credits|
Semester and Year Offered: TBD
Course Coordinator and Team: Kaustav Banerjee
Email of course coordinator: kb[at]aud[dot]ac[dot]in
Aim: The course is primarily an elective course in agrarian political economy and hence connects thematically with many courses offered at AUD (especially the 2 credit course on Agrarian Environments [School of Human Ecology] and the 4 credit core course on Capitalism, Colonialism and Development [School of Liberal Studies]). It builds on an interdisciplinary approach to understanding agrarian change and exclusions in a global context.
- To help students understand the interlinked processes of exclusions and agrarian change across the world, especially in the global south.
- To introduce students to the agrarian roots of contemporary capitalism and offer students a comparative political economic perspective to comprehend the ‘global’.
- To make students aware of the issues arising out of global agro-ecological imbalances and the marginalisation of livelihoods.
- To enable students interested in contemporary globalisations understand the agrarian roots of such phenomena.
- To help students communicate effectively, through speaking and writing, about ideas and concepts relating to agrarian political economy so as to establish the global interconnectedness between historical events in the north and the contemporary south.
Brief description of modules/ Main modules:
- Agrarian Roots of the Global - Comparative histories of Exclusion and Accumulation: This unit will deal in detail with the comparative histories of exclusion and theories of global transformation emanating from agrarian systems. What were the prime movers of change in different agrarian societies? It would evolve an alternative understanding of the history of agrarian change with regards to the role of the various actors/institutions and processes of exclusion, class differentiation and their role in the broader cycle of accumulation. It would also critically explore the idea of the “agrarian” in constructing the “global”. .
- Overlapping categories of exclusion and global barriers to agrarian change: This unit will look at the overlapping categories of exclusion – patriarchy, caste, race and class and how their global interlocking proves to be insurmountable barriers to change especially in agrarian societies. The role of colonialism and late capitalism in perpetuating backwardness in producer countries will be dealt with in greater detail. This would provide a basis for studying post-colonial agrarian societies and the challenges they face in their attempts at transformation.
- Revisiting the mode of production debates through the lens of exclusion: This unit will deal in detail with the political economy study of the mode of production debates that were used to characterise agrarian systems and their possibilities of transformation. We examine the modes of surplus extraction and employ the concept to conceptualize the various axis of domination. This unit would critically evaluate the relevance of such debates in characterizing agrarian change.
- Contemporary agrarian questions: This unit examines contemporary agrarian questions especially issues related to technology, differential impacts of State led agrarian policies (e.g. the Green Revolution, Public Distribution Systems), the politics of aid, the entry of corporates and negative environmental externalities (water table depletion, soil health, crop burning etc.).
- The agrarian roots of conflicts and the politics of transformation: This unit examines the agrarian roots of conflict and the politics of transformation. The acquisition of land, extraction of resources, depletion of forests and pasture lands lie at the heart of agrarian based movements and their impact in shaping the contours of transformation are critically examined.
Assessment Details with weights:
- Monthly Assessment (3X10% = 30%): Open book written assessment based on Units covered in a month.
- Project (30%): term paper on a topic/theme of students’ interest
- Final examination (40%): essay-based final exam based on full semester syllabus
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- Agarwal, A. and K. Sivaramakrishnan (eds.) (2000) Agrarian Environments, Resources, Representation and Rule in India, Duke University Press, London
- Bhattacharya, N. (2018), The Great Agrarian Conquest: the Making of a Colonial Rural Order (Permanent Black)
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- Mohanty, M. (2006) ‘Challenges of Revolutionary Violence: The Naxalite Movement in Perspective’ in Economic and Political Weekly Vol. 41, No. 29, pp 3163-3167
- Mundle, S. (1979) Backwardness and Bondage: Agrarian Relations in a South Bihar District, Pauls Press, New Delhi
- Patnaik, U. (1987), Peasant Class Differentiation: A Study in Method with Reference to Haryana, Oxford University Press, New Delhi
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