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Understanding the New Land Rush: How Capital Inflows Transformed Rural Russia
Lecture | August 31 | 4-5:30 p.m. | 270 Stephens Hall
Rising global prices for agricultural commodities have led to the inflow of capital to rural economies and to transfers of land ownership to new agricultural operators (NAOs) in developing and post-Soviet countries. How capital inflows affect rural communities is often explained with the variable of institutional strength, an explanation aligned with the good governance approach to economic development: capital inflows have positive developmental effects, if strong domestic institutions vet land deals and regulate NAOs. Contra the focus on institutional parameters as exogenous variables, the Russian case suggests that we should pay attention to political projects and priorities that shape local outcomes and drive institutional change. Vladimir Putins food security agenda is important to understand the countrys rural transformation, because it led to a myriad of interventions that privileged NAOs as agents of change, while other actors were sidelined.
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