Country politics and Agrarian systems: Land grab on Bengal frontiers, 1750-1800

David Ludden

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


    The forceful expropriation of land, labour, water, and other productive resources is fundamental for processes of agricultural expansion and intensification. What is known today as 'land grab' was theorized by Marx as 'primitive accumulation' and by David Harvey as 'accumulation by dispossession'. Today it is most prominent and controversial in Africa, where the governments of India and China are major perpetrators; and it also drives most contemporary urban expansion in India and China. This article deploys David Washbrook's idea of 'country politics' to explore the process of land grabbing in the early-modern expansion of agrarian Bengal, where local peasant society and worldwide imperial political economy came together to expand frontiers of farming in what is now the Sylhet District of Bangladesh.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)319-349
    Number of pages31
    JournalModern Asian Studies
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Mar 1 2017

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Geography, Planning and Development
    • History
    • Sociology and Political Science


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