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A. V. Chayanov’s International Regionalistics (On the 80th Anniversary of the Death of the Scientist)


  • Nikulin, Alexander M.

    (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration)


In addition to comprehensive studies of Russian agriculture, outstanding Russian agrarian-economist Alexander Chayanov (1888–1937) has left a vast scientific legacy relating to the study of agrarian economies of the most diverse regions of the world. It was Chayanov’s free orientation in the issues of the international agrarian economy, science and politics that enabled him to organically realize in his studies both Russian and foreign agrarian experience giving a universal character to his theoretical concepts of peasant economy, rural cooperatives, social agronomy and economic policy. So far, neither in the Russian, nor in the foreign scientific literature have there been any special works devoted to Chayanov’s international agrarian studies. This article seeks to fill this gap through reconstructing the main landmarks and themes of Chayanov’s international agrarian research projects and updating them in keeping with the modern understanding of Russian and international agrarian problems. The article reviews such issues as: the evolution of A. V. Chayanov’s agrarian and economic views on the agriculture of Europe at the beginning of the 20th century including rethinking of the importance of autarky and naturalization of agriculture in Russia and the world under the conditions of world and civil wars; international agrarian studies by Chayanov and his institute in the 1920s. The last part of the article analyzes Chayanov’s dramatic attempts made in the course of the Soviet collectivization to rationalize projects of creating super-large agrarian enterprises — state farms orientated on the experience of the American 100% mechanization. In conclusion, the study addresses the reasons for Chayanov’s international agricultural heritage being in demand in the 21st century.

Suggested Citation

  • Nikulin, Alexander M., 2017. "A. V. Chayanov’s International Regionalistics (On the 80th Anniversary of the Death of the Scientist)," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 5, pages 150-177, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:rnp:ecopol:ep1758

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    A. V. Chayanov; agriculture; economic theory; regions; peasantry; farming; state farm; autarky.;

    JEL classification:

    • B31 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals - - - Individuals
    • P51 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - Comparative Analysis of Economic Systems
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy
    • R58 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Regional Development Planning and Policy


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