No Condition Is Permanent: The Social Dynamics of Agrarian Change in Sub-Saharan Africa [NOOK Book]

Overview

“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

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

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Overview

“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 Permanent enriches 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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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
A comparative study of the changing patterns of resource access and resource use in several local agrarian systems in sub-Saharan Africa during and after the colonial period. Specifically, traces the effects of commercialization and political centralization on the conditions under which African farmers gained access to productive resources and how that access influenced patterns of resource use. A contribution both to African agrarian history and to debates over the role of agriculture in the recent economic crises in Africa. Paper edition (unseen), $22.50. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780299139339
  • Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/1993
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 288
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Sara S. Berry is professor of history at Johns Hopkins University.  She is the author of Fathers Work for their Sons: Accumulation, Mobility and Class Formation in an Extended Yoruba Community and Cocoa, Custom and Socio-economic Change in Rural Western Nigeria.

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Table of Contents

Illustrations
Tables
Acknowledgments
1 Introduction 3
2 Hegemony on a Shoestring: Indirect Rule and Farmers' Access to Resources 22
3 Inconclusive Encounters: Farmers and States in the Era of Planned Development 43
4 Commercialization, Cultivation, and Capital Formation: Agrarian Change in Four Localities 67
5 Access to Land: Property Rights as Social Process 101
6 Exploitation Without Dispossession: Markets, Networks, and Farmers' Access to Labor 135
7 Investing in Networks: Farmers' Uses of Income and Their Significance for Agrarian Change 159
8 Time Is of the Essence: Intensification, Instability, and Appropriate Technology 181
Notes 205
Bibliography 219
Index 253
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