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The moral economy of isolates: ‘escape agriculture’ and warzone public authority

Richards, Paul (2022) The moral economy of isolates: ‘escape agriculture’ and warzone public authority. Journal of Peasant Studies. 1 - 21. ISSN 0306-6150

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Identification Number: 10.1080/03066150.2022.2052279


Edward Banfield was one of the first scholars clearly to describe the condition of peasant isolate social ordering, problematically terming it ‘amoral familism’. James Scott offered a more positive framing by referring to the potential of ‘escape agriculture’ to sustain political autonomy. The present paper returns to these debates about peasant moral economy. Norms concerning production and distribution are not exogenous givens but products of communal organization and social context. Banfield’s mistake was to refer to peasant autonomy as ‘amoral’. Here, isolate ordering has a positive moral valency, and that public authority in zones of war or disaster recovery should seek to accommodate it.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2022 The Author
Divisions: ?? CPAID ??
Centre for Public Authority and International Development
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
J Political Science > JC Political theory
Date Deposited: 09 May 2022 11:30
Last Modified: 12 Jul 2024 22:54

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