No Condition Is Permanent The Social Dynamics of Agrarian Change in Sub-Saharan Africa

ISBN-10: 0299139344

ISBN-13: 9780299139346

Edition: N/A

Authors: Sara Berry
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Description: “No condition is permanent,” a popular West African slogan, expresses Sara S. Berry’s theme: the obstacles to African agrarian development never stay the same.  Her book explores the complex way African economy and society are tied to issues of land and labor, offering a comparative study of agrarian change in four rural economies in sub-Saharan Africa, including two that experienced long periods of expanding peasant production for export (southern Ghana and southwestern Nigeria), a settler economy (central Kenya), and a rural labor reserve (northeastern Zambia).     The resources available to African farmers have changed dramatically over the course of the twentieth century.  Berry asserts that the ways resources are acquired and used are shaped not only by  the incorporation of a rural area into colonial (later national) and global political economies, but also by conflicts over culture, power, and property within and beyond rural communities.  By tracing the various debates over rights to resources and their effects on agricultural production and farmers’ uses of income, Berry presents agrarian change as a series of on-going processes rather than a set of discrete “successes” and “failures.”    No Condition Is Permanentenriches the discussion of agrarian development by showing how  multidisciplinary studies of local agrarian history can constructively contribute to development policy.  The book is a contribution both to African agrarian history and to debates over the role of agriculture in Africa’s recent economic crises.

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Book details

List price: $22.95
Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
Publication date: 9/15/1993
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 288
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.836

Illustrations
Tables
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Hegemony on a Shoestring: Indirect Rule and Farmers' Access to Resources
Inconclusive Encounters: Farmers and States in the Era of Planned Development
Commercialization, Cultivation, and Capital Formation: Agrarian Change in Four Localities
Access to Land: Property Rights as Social Process
Exploitation Without Dispossession: Markets, Networks, and Farmers' Access to Labor
Investing in Networks: Farmers' Uses of Income and Their Significance for Agrarian Change
Time Is of the Essence: Intensification, Instability, and Appropriate Technology
Notes
Bibliography
Index
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