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This volume provides a radical and timely corrective to received wisdom about the seemingly inevitable transition from communism to democratic capitalism. Arguing against popular misconceptions that portray collectivized agriculture as an unqualified failure that followed a monolithic Soviet model, the contributors draw upon newly available local sources to illuminate the costs, benefits, successes, and failures of cooperative agriculture. They highlight the wide variety of state policies, local responses, and economic outcomes, as well as the influence of local geography, political structures, and economic institutions in each region. Meurs provides an institutionalist analysis of both the causes and impacts of policy differences, drawing lessons of continuing relevance to the many countries in which agrarian reform remains a controversial issue.

Contributions by: Victor Danilov, Carmen Diana Deere, Stanka Dobreva, Veska Kouzhouharova, Imre Kovach, Justin Lin, Mieke Meurs, and Niurka Perez.

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