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The politics of agrarian collapse: Decollectivisation in Moldova

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Matthew Gorton


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While all Central and East European countries have reformed their relationships between agriculture and the state, this process has been particularly fraught in Moldova. The post-Soviet era has witnessed a sustained conflict between communists, agrarian nationalists, and economic liberals over the reform of state and collective farms. However, attempts to enact agrarian nationalist and neoliberal visions of agriculture in Moldova have largely failed. Instead, reforms have created a subsistence-based agricultural sector with a fragmented pattern of land management and have not dealt with trade reorientation. Collective farm managers, while portrayed as impediments to efficiency, private sector agriculture prior to decollectivisation, have become the main agents of much-needed land consolidation after reform. The plans for decollectivisation, pioneered by international agencies, placed too little emphasis on creating institutions to inhibit excessive fragmentation as part of the reform process in itself and are only now facing these problems after the dramatic rise in subsistence production.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Gorton M, White J

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: East European Politics and Societies

Year: 2003

Volume: 17

Issue: 2

Pages: 305-351

Print publication date: 01/03/2003

ISSN (print): 0888-3254

ISSN (electronic): 1533-8371


DOI: 10.1177/0888325403017002006