Labour migration, capitalist accumulation and feudal reproduction: a historical analysis from the Eastern Gangetic Plains

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Labour migration, capitalist accumulation and feudal reproduction : a historical analysis from the Eastern Gangetic Plains. / Sugden, Fraser.

In: Antipode, Vol. 51, No. 5, 11.2019, p. 1600-1639.

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@article{8af59bc58ed04b4ea16c30207a640f92,
title = "Labour migration, capitalist accumulation and feudal reproduction: a historical analysis from the Eastern Gangetic Plains",
abstract = "This paper engages with the long-running debate on the transition from farm-based livelihoods to capitalism in the context of labour migration. Tracing the historic evolution of modes of production in the peripheral Mithilanchal region of the Eastern Gangetic Plains, it notes how the economic processes which are today driving the peasantry into the labour force through migration are not directly connected to the process of capitalist accumulation in the diverse locales where labour is employed, as is somtimes implied in the research on classic situations of “accumulation by dispossession”. The entry of the peasantry into the surplus labour pool is instead linked firstly, with a complex convergence of internal changes within a non-capitalist feudal mode of production on an economic, cultural and political level, and secondly, with the stresses brought about in the wake of expanding capitalist markets. The paper notes however that migrant labour still generates substantial profits for capitalism with a sharing of surplus between the latter, and landlord-money lenders. It argues that the relationship between modes of production in this context, is neither functional nor coincidental, and is linked instead with larger – at times opportunistic – class alliances which have evolved to fit the current political-economic conjuncture.",
keywords = "India, Nepal, accumulation, agriculture, capitalism, feudalism, migration",
author = "Fraser Sugden",
year = "2019",
month = nov,
doi = "10.1111/anti.12556",
language = "English",
volume = "51",
pages = "1600--1639",
journal = "Antipode",
issn = "0066-4812",
publisher = "Wiley-VCH Verlag",
number = "5",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Labour migration, capitalist accumulation and feudal reproduction

T2 - a historical analysis from the Eastern Gangetic Plains

AU - Sugden, Fraser

PY - 2019/11

Y1 - 2019/11

N2 - This paper engages with the long-running debate on the transition from farm-based livelihoods to capitalism in the context of labour migration. Tracing the historic evolution of modes of production in the peripheral Mithilanchal region of the Eastern Gangetic Plains, it notes how the economic processes which are today driving the peasantry into the labour force through migration are not directly connected to the process of capitalist accumulation in the diverse locales where labour is employed, as is somtimes implied in the research on classic situations of “accumulation by dispossession”. The entry of the peasantry into the surplus labour pool is instead linked firstly, with a complex convergence of internal changes within a non-capitalist feudal mode of production on an economic, cultural and political level, and secondly, with the stresses brought about in the wake of expanding capitalist markets. The paper notes however that migrant labour still generates substantial profits for capitalism with a sharing of surplus between the latter, and landlord-money lenders. It argues that the relationship between modes of production in this context, is neither functional nor coincidental, and is linked instead with larger – at times opportunistic – class alliances which have evolved to fit the current political-economic conjuncture.

AB - This paper engages with the long-running debate on the transition from farm-based livelihoods to capitalism in the context of labour migration. Tracing the historic evolution of modes of production in the peripheral Mithilanchal region of the Eastern Gangetic Plains, it notes how the economic processes which are today driving the peasantry into the labour force through migration are not directly connected to the process of capitalist accumulation in the diverse locales where labour is employed, as is somtimes implied in the research on classic situations of “accumulation by dispossession”. The entry of the peasantry into the surplus labour pool is instead linked firstly, with a complex convergence of internal changes within a non-capitalist feudal mode of production on an economic, cultural and political level, and secondly, with the stresses brought about in the wake of expanding capitalist markets. The paper notes however that migrant labour still generates substantial profits for capitalism with a sharing of surplus between the latter, and landlord-money lenders. It argues that the relationship between modes of production in this context, is neither functional nor coincidental, and is linked instead with larger – at times opportunistic – class alliances which have evolved to fit the current political-economic conjuncture.

KW - India

KW - Nepal

KW - accumulation

KW - agriculture

KW - capitalism

KW - feudalism

KW - migration

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85069808803&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1111/anti.12556

DO - 10.1111/anti.12556

M3 - Article

VL - 51

SP - 1600

EP - 1639

JO - Antipode

JF - Antipode

SN - 0066-4812

IS - 5

ER -