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Bitter Harvest

Bitter Harvest

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International Edition

About the Book

Bitter Harvest, a historical ethnographic study, examines the property changes prompted by the early post-socialist neoliberal reforms designed to build capitalism in Poland. Historically, the book traces the halting but steady emergence of privatization and liberalization, even under socialism, and how these anticipated the reforms of the post-socialist period. Contrary to the view that the 1989 post-socialist policy represented a radical departure from former state socialist policies via the importation of Western "shock therapy" reforms, including the key economic institution of private property, this book dispenses with the sharp divide between the "socialist past" and "capitalist present" and argues the lasting importance of these historical antecedents in shaping both post-socialist policy and responses to it. Ethnographically, the book provides a detailed account of the different yet interdependent ways the post-socialist reform program influenced existing agricultural property forms-small farmers, production cooperatives, and state farms-leading in each case to unexpected economic results and political contestation of the policy objectives. This historical and ethnographic study of multiple forms of ownership poses a challenge to the common conception of a homogenized socialism based on state property. It also refutes the reductionist representation of the reality after socialism as the creation of Western-style, private property-based economic systems, unaffected by the unique Eastern European sociopolitical context. Instead, looking at Poland's property changes through the eyes and experiences of diverse agricultural owners, this book employs the notion of conjoint property to unpack the complexity of ownership under socialism and theorize its evolution into an incomplete exclusive ownership after socialism. This new conceptual framework of property changes in early transition helps us to understand current developments in Eastern Europe as it integrates with the European Union and intersects with global capitalism. It further sheds light on the limits of the universality of the Western notion of private property.
About the Author: Suava (Slawomira) Zbierski-Salameh heads Haverford Institute at Haverford, Pennsylvania where she works for advancement of exchanges between U.S. and East European academic communities. Earlier, she served for several years at Haverford College on Steering Committee for Center for Peace and Global Citizenship and on Advisory Board for study Abroad Program. Born in Poland she received a PhD in sociology at UC Berkeley. She taught at US Berkeley and Haverford College. Her articles appeared in numerous journals and books, including Uncertain Transitions (1999). She lives in Haverford, Pennsylvania and Poznan, Poland.

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Product Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780739165140
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
  • Publisher Imprint: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
  • Depth: 25
  • Language: English
  • Returnable: Y
  • Spine Width: 23 mm
  • Weight: 412 gr
  • ISBN-10: 0739165143
  • Publisher Date: 11 Apr 2013
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Height: 226 mm
  • No of Pages: 304
  • Series Title: English
  • Sub Title: Antecedents and Consequences of Property Reforms in Postsocialist Poland
  • Width: 150 mm

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