While globally it is reported that peasants are fighting against land grabbing, Ukrainian rural dwellers show tolerance and peaceful acceptance of land grab-related changes. This paper analyses the ‘exceptional’ case of non-resistance of Ukrainian peasants and argues that it is not as exceptional as it seems at first glance. By studying various rural responses to the large-scale agricultural development in Ukraine and the resulting socio-economic transformations within rural communities, this research demonstrates that: the politics of dispossessed groups depend on the terms of inclusion in land deals; adaptive response strategies are common and can be advantageous for rural people; and peasants are more concerned with personal gains from land grabs than with benefits for the whole community, which often leads to their acceptance of large-scale land acquisitions. This research challenges the dominant assumptions about rural resistance to land grabbing and calls for rethinking the nature of the contemporary peasants’ politics worldwide.

land grabbing, peasant response strategies, socio-economic stratification, terms of inclusion, Ukraine
dx.doi.org/10.1080/03066150.2014.993320, hdl.handle.net/1765/82510
The Journal of Peasant Studies
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Erasmus University Rotterdam

Mamonova, N.V. (2015). Resistance or adaptation? Ukrainian peasants’ responses to large-scale land acquisitions. The Journal of Peasant Studies, 42(3-4), 607–634. doi:10.1080/03066150.2014.993320