IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The Political Economy of Agrarian Change: Dinosaur or Phoenix?

  • Lucia da Corta (QEH)
Registered author(s):

    In this paper I argue for the resurrection of the political economy of agrarian change (PEACH) in mainstream policy research in order to understand the deeper causes of poverty and its transformation in rural areas. I critically examine chronic poverty research and argue that in the wake of the devastating critique of PEACH theory, an unlikely combination of post-structural and methodologically individualist new development economics (NDE) theory became hegemonic in development studies throughout the 90s and shaped emergent chronic poverty methodology. As a consequence subsequent chronic poverty empirical research tended to produce results confirming post-PEACH theory - poverty caused by assets based vulnerability experience of poor people and by their exclusion from economies and societies. In order to address the possibility of poverty as a problem of inclusion into economies and societies, chronic poverty research advanced new social relational concepts in the intergenerational transmission of poverty literature (IGT) and in adverse incorporation and social exclusion research (AISE). These and other such critical oppositional thinkers endorse a dynamic, relational transformational approach, one which combines realist structural and interpretive thinking and which coheres with critical realist PEACH methodology. However, they hesitate in fully embracing PEACH concepts - such as capitalist accumulation, class relations and unfreedom - which can shed light on materialist processes of poverty. I argue that the difficulties this body of research confronts in addressing the deeper causes of poverty can be resolved by drawing on PEACH concepts together with critical realist PEACH methods, and that the pluralism that this entails enables much deeper explanations for processes of impoverishment and escape and a wider range of empowering policy responses.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford in its series QEH Working Papers with number qehwps174.

    in new window

    Date of creation:
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:qeh:qehwps:qehwps174
    Contact details of provider: Postal: Queen Elizabeth House 3 Mansfield Road, Oxford, OX1 3TB United Kingdom
    Phone: +44 (1865) 281800
    Fax: +44 (1865) 281801
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. Tony Lawson, 2006. "The nature of heterodox economics," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 30(4), pages 483-505, July.
    2. M. Ruth & K. Donaghy & P. Kirshen, 2006. "Introduction," Chapters, in: Regional Climate Change and Variability, chapter 1 Edward Elgar.
    3. Stefan Dercon (QEH), . "Vulnerability: a micro perspective," QEH Working Papers qehwps149, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
    4. Bob Baulch & John Hoddinott, 2000. "Economic mobility and poverty dynamics in developing countries," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(6), pages 1-24.
    5. Kanbur, Ravi & Shaffer, Paul, 2006. "Epistemology, Normative Theory and Poverty Analysis:Implications for Q-Squared in Practice," Working Papers 127034, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
    6. Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1986. "The new development economics," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 257-265, February.
    7. Pranab Bardhan & Christopher Udry, 2000. "Readings in Development Economics, Volume I: Micro-Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262522829, June.
    8. Sen, Binayak, 2003. "Drivers of Escape and Descent: Changing Household Fortunes in Rural Bangladesh," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 513-534, March.
    9. D. K. Bagchi & Piers Blaikie & John Cameron & M. Chattopadhyay & N. Gyawali & David Seddon, 1998. "Conceptual and methodological challenges in the study of livelihood trajectories: case-studies in Eastern India and Western Nepal," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(4), pages 453-468.
    10. Krishna, Anirudh, 2006. "Pathways out of and into poverty in 36 villages of Andhra Pradesh, India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 271-288, February.
    11. Hulme, David & Shepherd, Andrew, 2003. "Conceptualizing Chronic Poverty," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 403-423, March.
    12. Adato, Michelle & Lund, Francie & Mhlongo, Phakama, 2007. "Methodological Innovations in Research on the Dynamics of Poverty: A Longitudinal Study in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 247-263, February.
    13. Green, Maia & Hulme, David, 2005. "From correlates and characteristics to causes: thinking about poverty from a chronic poverty perspective," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 867-879, June.
    14. Michelle Adato & Michael Carter & Julian May, 2006. "Exploring poverty traps and social exclusion in South Africa using qualitative and quantitative data," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(2), pages 226-247.
    15. Michael Carter & Christopher Barrett, 2006. "The economics of poverty traps and persistent poverty: An asset-based approach," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(2), pages 178-199.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:qeh:qehwps:qehwps174. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Rachel Crawford)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.