Critical Agrarian Studies Books

The Initiatives in Critical Agrarian Studies small book series Open Access ebook edition is now available. This means you can download, save, read and share all the books in this series here:

“State of the art small books”

There remains a significant gap in meeting the needs of academics (teachers, scholars and students), social movement activists and development practitioners in the global South and the North for scientifically rigorous yet accessible, politically relevant, policy-oriented and affordable books in critical agrarian studies. In response to this need, we launched this series. The idea is to publish “state of the art small books” that will explain a specific development issue based on key questions, including: What are the current issues and debates in this particular topic and who are the key scholars/thinkers and actual policy practitioners? How have such positions developed over time? What are the possible future trajectories? What are the key reference materials?

And why and how is it important for NGO professionals, social movement activists, official development aid circle and nongovernmental donor agencies, students, academics, researchers and policy experts to critically engage with the key points explained in the book? Each book will combine theoretical and policy-oriented discussion with empirical examples from different national and local settings.

The first ten books

We have published the first ten books in the series as an Open Access edition. These ten volumes fit together well in terms of themes, accessibility, relevance and rigour. We are excited about the bright future of this important series!

Agrarian political economy investigates the social relations of production and reproduction, property and power in agrarian formations, and how they change. Using Marx’s theory of capitalism the book argues that class dynamics should be the starting point of any analysis of agrarian change. As an introduction to agrarian political economy, this book includes explanations and applications of its key concepts, a glossary of analytical terms, and a historical approach and framework for examining agrarian change in capitalism. The author assumes no prior knowledge of political economy on the part of readers but aims, through this stimulating introduction, to encourage them to study it further.

“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 and activists.” — Barbara Harriss-White, University of Oxford

Book series editors:

  • Saturnino (Jun) M. Borras Jr., International Institute of Social Studies
  • (ISS), The Hague, The Netherlands
  • Ruth Hall, PLAAS, University of the Western Cape, South Africa
  • Max Spoor, International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), The Hague, The Netherlands
  • Henry Veltmeyer, Autonomous University of Zacatecas, Mexico
  • Jingzhong Ye, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China

Supporting institutions and co-publishers