This two-part article surveys the origin, development and current meaning of the 'agrarian question'. Part One of the survey explored the history of the agrarian question, elaborating its origin in the work of Marx, Engels, Kautsky, and Lenin, and its development in the work of Preobrazhensky, Dobb, Brenner, and others. Part Two of the survey identifies seven current variants of the agrarian question and critically interrogates these variants in order to understand whether, and if so, how, the location of small-scale petty commodity food and farm production within contemporary capitalism has been reconfigured during the era of neoliberal globalisation. Together, the two parts of the survey argue that the agrarian question continues to offer a rigorously flexible framework by which to undertake a historically-informed and country-specific analysis of the material conditions governing rural production, reproduction, and the process of agrarian accumulation or its lack thereof, a process that is located within the law of value and market imperatives that operate on a world scale.

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Keywords Agrarian change, Agrarian question, Globalisation, Peasant studies, Rural development, Rural transformation, agrarian change, agrarian reform, agricultural production, capitalism, globalization, peasant agriculture, rural development
Persistent URL,
Series ISS Staff Group 4: Rural Development, Environment and Population
Journal The Journal of Peasant Studies
Akram-Lodhi, A.H, & Kay, C. (2010). Surveying the agrarian question (part 2): Current debates and beyond. The Journal of Peasant Studies, 37(2), 255–284. doi:10.1080/03066151003594906