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Rural transformation in the age of globalization: Small farms in Turkey 1980-2007.

Karapinar, Baris (2007) Rural transformation in the age of globalization: Small farms in Turkey 1980-2007. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).

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Abstract

The debate on rural transformation dates back to the school of neo-classical political economy. Its modern version has focused on the role of agriculture in economic development in the 1960s and 1970s, and has then moved on to local livelihoods and micro-economics in the 1980s. Recently, a new debate has emerged between the 'neo-populists' and the 'agro-pessimists' on the role of small-scale farms in economic development and poverty alleviation. This thesis develops a framework, which helps analysis of the process of rural transformation in the age of globalization. Testing the hypothesis in Turkey illustrates a common dilemma faced by many developing countries where the role of agriculture in economic development has been diminishing without leading to a substantial movement of labour out of agriculture. Since this trend is accompanied by a stagnant agricultural economy failing to integrate into global markets, millions of small farmers have been left out of the process of economic development over the last 25 years. This thesis analyzes longitudinal village studies from three different regions of Turkey. The first case exemplifies the damaging impact of the trade distorting policies of developed countries on small-scale cotton producers in developing countries. The second case illustrates the crucial role that non-agricultural activities play in rural economies, especially in unfavourable agro-ecologies. The third shows that inequality arising from social and political factors hinders the efficient allocation of resources, constituting a big obstacle for rural development. Hence, combining assessment of the processes of agricultural and labour transition at the country level with thematic case studies, the thesis argues that the overall state of small-scale agriculture has generally been pessimistic over the last 25 years. Nevertheless, if facilitated by a new institutional framework, such as the new social democracy, designed to take advantage of new opportunities arising from globalization, a realistic policy approach would provide an optimistic prospect for future progress in rural transformation.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Economics, Agricultural, Sociology, Social Structure and Development
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/2947

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