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Accueil du site → Doctorat → Allemagne → 2020 → The political economy of agrarian change in south-east Turkey

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (2020)

The political economy of agrarian change in south-east Turkey

Schmidt, Oscar

Titre : The political economy of agrarian change in south-east Turkey

Auteur : Schmidt, Oscar

Université de soutenance : Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Grade : Doctor rerum agriculturarum (Dr. rer. agr.) 2020

This study is a contribution to a growing body of research on the political economy of state-driven agrarian change. Scholarship on agrarian change commonly asks how, why and to what end agrarian change occurs. Related to this is an on-going debate about what “kind of agriculture” humanity should strive for to fulfil multiple social purposes and meet ecological needs today and in the future. The study’s contribution is twofold. First, it provides an in-depth empirical case study on the political economy of agrarian change on south-eastern Turkey’s Kızıltepe plain. The plain is located amidst Turkey’s impoverished and violence-stricken South-east Anatolia region, which has been at the centre of major development efforts since the late 1990s. Second, the study seeks to integrate empirical and theoretical works from different epistemic communities. In stressing the need to avoid the common tendency of remaining within epistemic silos, the study argues that integrating these different perspectives is both promising and necessary to further advance research on agrarian change. Using Hagedorn’s (2008) Institutions of Sustainability framework as a point of departure, an integrative theory-based analytical framework is introduced. Important building blocks are derived from neoclassical agricultural economics, Marxist agrarian political economy and economic theories of institutional change. The case study shows how the state’s policies have resulted in a fundamental change to the modus operandi of local agricultural production. State intervention has been highly successful in catalysing intensification and productivity. Yet, contrary to official claims, agrarian change has not yielded prosperity and growth across all social strata. Intensified agriculture has led to severe repercussions for the social relations of production and reproduction and major ecological problems. Agrarian change in Kızıltepe is thus much less a success story, but rather a cautionary tale.


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