The inter-war land reforms in Estonia, Finland and Bulgaria: A comparative study
2006 (English)In: Scandinavian Economic History Review, ISSN 0358-5522, Vol. 54, no 1, 64-67 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
This study compares the development and performance of the interwar land reforms in Estonia, Finland and Bulgaria: three countries within the so-called Agrarian Reform Zone, which constituted previous parts of the Russian and Ottoman Empires heavily influenced by the Russian revolutions. In spite of their different scope and outlook these land reforms aimed at solving similar problems of an agrarian and socio-economic developmental character. Finland and Estonia underwent wars of liberation when seceding from revolutionary Russia: Finland also had to go through civil war before the land redistributions took place. In Bulgaria, however, land redistribution had been an ongoing theme since the late 1870s when autonomy from the Ottoman Empire was achieved. The interwar land expropriation and redistribution was most profound and radical in Estonia. The gradual Finnish reforms were also radical from the perspective of the precarious political situation they aimed at solving. Bulgaria's less thorough reform was nevertheless radical from the perspective of its agrarian ideological aspirations. These land reforms must therefore be seen as a part of the interwar state-building process and struggle for independence: peasant movements were influential in all three cases and geographical proximity to revolutionary Russia had impacts on their outcomes. The study emphasises that by exploring and comparing the profound interwar land redistributions, we can gain a better understanding of current problems, such as those resulting from the post-socialist de-collectivisation: e.g. the return to small-scale family farming by means of restitution, in countries that were subjugated to a command economy after World War II. For this reason interwar Finland's different road and sustained national independence makes an interesting comparison, since Finland shared several features with the land reform zone countries before the Russian revolution of 1917 and not least during the 1920s and 1930s. In the case of Estonia and Bulgaria, however, the development path was interrupted by Soviet expansion.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, Taylor & Francis , 2006. Vol. 54, no 1, 64-67 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-4305DOI: 10.1080/03585520600594596OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-4305DiVA: diva2:143333
Ändrat från Submitted till Published 14/8-09.2004-12-012004-12-01Bibliographically approved