Sonar Bangla? Agricultural Growth and Agrarian Change in West Bengal and Bangladesh

Edited by Ben Rogaly, Barbara Harriss-White and Sugata Bose, Sage, 1999, 424 p, ISBN : 8170367719, $50.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

Contents: 1. Introduction: agricultural growth and agrarian change in West Bengal and Bangladesh/Ben Rogaly, Barbara Harriss-White and Sugata Bose. I. Agricultural Growth, Poverty and Well-Being: 2. Agricultural growth and agrarian structure in Bengal: a historical overview/Sugata Bose. 3. Agricultural growth and recent trends in well-being in rural West Bengal/Haris Gazdar and Sunil Sengupta. 4. Slowdown in agricultural growth in Bangladesh: neither a Good description nor a description good to give/Richard Palmer-Jones. 5. Agricultural growth performance in Bangladesh: a note on the recent slowdown/Quazi Shahabuddin. 6. Why is agricultural growth uneven? class and the agrarian surplus in Bangladesh/Ben Crow. II. Policies and Practices: 7. Agrarian structure and agricultural growth trends in Bangladesh: the political economy of tecnological change and policy interventions/Shapan Adnan. 8. Panchayati Raj and the changing micro-politics of West Bengal/Glyn Williams. 9. From untouchable to communist: wealth, power and status among supporters of the Communist party (Marxist) in rural West Bengal/Arild Engelsen Ruud. 10. Politics of middleness: the changing character of the Communist party of India (Marxist) in rural West Bengal (1977-90)/Dwaipayan Bhattacharyya. III. Changing Agrarian Structures: 11. From farms to services: agricultural reformation in Bangladesh/Geoffrey D. Wood. 12. Institutions, actors and strategies in West Bengal's rural development--a study on irrigation/Neil Webster. 13. Dangerous liaisons? seasonal migration and agrarian change in West Bengal/Ben Rogaly. 14. Agricultural growth and the structure and relations of agricultural markets in West Bengal/Barbara Harriss--White. Index.

"After decades of stagnation, Bengal agricultural output finally began to grow faster than the population from the mid 1980s onwards. While this achievement has been widely heralded, there has been no effort to analyse in detail the reasons for and the consequences of agrarian change in the region. Providing a unique interdisciplinary synthesis, this volume--which draws chiefly upon micro studies of villages in West Bengal and Bangladesh--explores the complex causality between agricultural growth, Government policy and local level practice, and agrarian social change.

"The book is divided into three parts dealing respectively with agricultural growth, poverty and well-being, policies and practices; and changing agrarian structure. Among the issues discussed are:

The extent to which the West Bengal Government's agrarian reforms were responsible for rapid agricultural growth.

The outcomes of this growth for poverty and well-being in the state.

The liberalisation of agricultural input markets and growth trends in Bangladesh.

The impact of the recent agricultural growth on structures of land and water ownership; on caste-based ideologies; on markets for produce; and on migrant wage-workers.

"The book leavens official data with extended research in rural Bengal as well as detailed archival research. The contributions represent diverse ideological and disciplinary approaches, and even provide sharply contesting interpretations which reflect the debates currently raging around the themes covered in the volume.

"Representing a unique project of interdisciplinary synthesis, this timely and deliberately eclectic volume has immediate research and policy implications. It will attract the attention of a wide range of readers--economists, sociologists, anthropologists, political scientists, administrators, geographers and those studying political economy and development issues."

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