Rural Livelihoods: Crises and Responses

Bernstein, Henry; Crow, Ben and Johnson, Hazel eds. (1992). Rural Livelihoods: Crises and Responses. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.



This book is concerned with the question of how people in developing countries survive, and how their lives have been affected by the great changes since the Second World War.

Throughout large parts of the developing world rural livelihoods are in crisis. Even in those parts of the third world where there has been growth of food output, that growth has rarely been translated into a commensurate expansion of livelihoods. Frequently, both economic stagnation and economic growth are translated into suffering for those who live in the countryside. Many people are aware that there is a crisis of livelihoods in sub-Saharan Africa, but the understanding of that crisis rarely transcends simple conceptions of food or environmental crisis or the inadequacy of states: the ubiquity of crisis is rarely comprehended.

This book addresses the pressing question of rural poverty. It examines the diverse human implications of rural change, the various crises of rural livelihoods which arise from change, and the survival strategies of individuals and households. It describes the great processes of agrarian transformation which have fundamentally altered rural livelihoods in developing countries and identifies some of the dilemmas for public action which arise from agrarian transformation and the crises of rural livelihoods.

The contributors draw upon a range of disciplinary approaches to the subject, including anthropology, sociology, economics, political economy, agricultural science, and development studies.

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