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Power and property: commercialization, enclosures, and the transformation of agrarian relations in Ethiopia

Power and property: commercialization, enclosures, and the transformation of agrarian relations... This essay examines the momentous transformations in the agrarian social order of contemporary Ethiopia. It argues that the contemporary world economic, food, and energy crisis is accelerating processes of commercialization and enclosures that are profoundly altering the social and physical landscape of smallholder farming. These dynamics have taken a spatially divergent pattern that maps onto older imperial socio-spatial and cultural hierarchies. In the historically core regions and their socio-cultural extensions, a vigorous process of smallholder commercialization is being promoted, while in the surrounding lowland peripheries an extensive process of enclosures is creating an archipelago of large-scale mechanized farming that is displacing the subsistence sector. The contrasting forms of displacement and dispossession generated by these processes, and the patterns of social-property relations they are engendering, can be understood as outcomes of the uneven and combined dynamics of state formation and the differentiated incorporation of the regional peasantries into the dominant social orders constitutive of twentieth century Ethiopia. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of Peasant Studies Taylor & Francis

Power and property: commercialization, enclosures, and the transformation of agrarian relations in Ethiopia

The Journal of Peasant Studies , Volume 39 (1): 24 – Jan 1, 2012
24 pages

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References (92)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
ISSN
1743-9361
eISSN
0306-6150
DOI
10.1080/03066150.2011.652620
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This essay examines the momentous transformations in the agrarian social order of contemporary Ethiopia. It argues that the contemporary world economic, food, and energy crisis is accelerating processes of commercialization and enclosures that are profoundly altering the social and physical landscape of smallholder farming. These dynamics have taken a spatially divergent pattern that maps onto older imperial socio-spatial and cultural hierarchies. In the historically core regions and their socio-cultural extensions, a vigorous process of smallholder commercialization is being promoted, while in the surrounding lowland peripheries an extensive process of enclosures is creating an archipelago of large-scale mechanized farming that is displacing the subsistence sector. The contrasting forms of displacement and dispossession generated by these processes, and the patterns of social-property relations they are engendering, can be understood as outcomes of the uneven and combined dynamics of state formation and the differentiated incorporation of the regional peasantries into the dominant social orders constitutive of twentieth century Ethiopia.

Journal

The Journal of Peasant StudiesTaylor & Francis

Published: Jan 1, 2012

Keywords: enclosures; differentiation; dispossession; commercialization; agrarian change; Ethiopia

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