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About this book

This book offers an in-depth case study of Romania’s land and agricultural reforms from mid-19th century and up to 2000, offering a historical account of agricultural reforms in post-communist Romania in the light of more than a century of social and economic development experiments. Taking a ‘dual economy’ analytic perspective, the book examines the impact of structural and agricultural reforms on the country's economic development and provides an analysis of the ideas and models that stood behind policy reforms aiming at the modernization of an economy and society defined by dualism and late development.

Table of Contents

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. Introduction

Abstract
Taking as a starting point a conceptual framework defined by the topics of dualism, agrarian reforms, structural change policies and their associated ideas and designs, this project is articulating an exploratory contribution to two major themes. First, to the investigation of structural economic change in societies and economies defined by dualism. Second, to the study of policy ideas and policy learning in the context of large-scale policy reform experiments.
Adina Dabu, Paul D. Aligica

Chapter 2. Framing the Approach

Abstract
This chapter articulates the conceptual apparatus to be used in framing and discussing the case of Romanian agrarian reforms. It shows why, in order to understand and evaluate the reform strategies in case, one needs to understand the set of ideas behind them as frameworks inspiring, defining, and designing the specific policies and reform strategies. The chapter demonstrates how that conceptual apparatus connects and integrates via the notion of “learning” the analysis of both the ideas behind policies and the results of those policies, thus, setting the stage for the rest of the book.
Adina Dabu, Paul D. Aligica

Chapter 3. Economic Dualism as a Structural Constraint of South Eastern European Economies and Societies

Abstract
This chapter introduces the notion of economic and social dualism as a system that comprises a modern economy co-existing with a traditional, oversized peasant economy and the two, while having contact with each other, are not and cannot be fully integrated. The chapter presents dualism as a background on which the book’s argument will operate. Then it moves to show how the notion of dualism could be fruitfully applied to the description and analysis of the Eastern European economies and societies. The last part of the chapter focuses on the specific case of Romania, introduced as a particular case of economic dualism necessitating a structural reform of the agricultural sector as a crucial step in the modernization of the country.
Adina Dabu, Paul D. Aligica

Chapter 4. The Post-communist Period (1989–2000). Land Reform Between Property Rights Restoration and the Reorganization of Work and Production Relationships in Agriculture

Abstract
This chapter explores the basic ideas and models underlying the agricultural reform policies in post-communist Romania, around the turn of the twenty-first century, during the period its policies were transitioning to be fully shaped by the European Union accession process. The chapter captures the dynamic before and during this moment. The analysis focuses on the legislative policy measures and tries to reconstruct from their structure and intended objectives, the underlying concepts and theories that guided the process of policymaking around this pivotal period. In parallel, this chapter argues that the efficiency consequences that were supposed to follow from the restoration of the private ownership of the land in agriculture were less impressive than initially expected.
Adina Dabu, Paul D. Aligica

Chapter 5. The Pre-communist Period (1864–1945). Agriculture Between the Creation of Market Institutions and the Planned Economy

Abstract
This chapter takes a closer look at the main turning points in the evolution of the Romanian modern agriculture and the structural reform policies that shaped it before the communist takeover of the country in 1948. It begins with the second half of the nineteenth century, when the overall modernization of the country and its opening to the West European markets started to accelerate. It then moves to the dramatic changes brought about by its entering in the Soviet sphere of influence at the end of the Second World War. The chapter looks at the nature of specific policies in the context of Romania’s efforts toward modernization, groups them under meaningful categories, and provides a concise analysis of their technicalities, structural aspects and overall consequences for the process of agricultural development.
Adina Dabu, Paul D. Aligica

Chapter 6. The Communist Period (1945–1989). From Small Peasant Holdings to Large-Scale State and Collective Farms

Abstract
This chapter focuses on the communist period, a time of radical and dramatic changes in Romania’s agriculture and economy. The chapter outlines the radical changes that took place in the realm of agrarian policy in Romania during the Communist period, as compared to the pre-1948 private property-based agriculture. It also highlights the intellectual origins in the design of agrarian policies during this period as well as the constraints imposed by the totalitarian political system on the diffusion of alternative ideas about agricultural development.
Adina Dabu, Paul D. Aligica

Chapter 7. Conclusions: Ideas and Policies in Comparative Historical Perspective

Abstract
This chapter (Conclusions) sums up and synthetizes the insights from the previous chapters, focusing on the connection between on the one hand the ideas and policies about development that grew out in Romania and more generally in the space of Eastern Europe and, on the other hand the ideas, concepts and theories and policies originating in Western development economics. Then it moves to assess the Romanian development in relationship to the idea of policy learning. The focus is on evaluating the extent to which the ideas and policy consequences of the two long periods of policy-making experiences—the pre-communist and communist periods—were incorporated and influenced the post-1989 reforms in agriculture. The chapter concludes by pointing out future research directions that may further illuminate some core issues in understanding the Romanian experience and the phenomenon of agrarian reform in systems defined by economic and social dualism.
Adina Dabu, Paul D. Aligica
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