Rural Communities under Stress: Peasant Farmers and the State in Africa by Jonathan Barker
First published in 1990, Rural Communities under Stress goes behind the crises of famine and poor agricultural production to examine the forces and pressures that can affect peasant farming communities in sub-Saharan Africa. Drawing on a wide range of case studies by anthropologists, political scientists, sociologists, and economists, the book shows that peasant farmers have ways of defending their interests. Cases from Senegal, Tanzania, Mozambique, Ghana, Kenya, and Uganda are given as concrete examples of ways peasant farming communities cope with the stresses of economic exploitation, political subordination, and demographic and ecological pressure. Even when they are not successful, peasant farmers are far from being passive victims. The book examines in direct and clear language the major arguments about the basic nature of Africa's rural crisis put forward by powerful agencies of international assistance and influential academics.