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Title: EU integration as reconfiguration of value : work and resourcefulness in the Southern Carpathian Mountains of Romania
Author: Fox, Katy
ISNI:       0000 0004 2709 6161
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2010
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My thesis focuses on agricultural livelihoods and EU integration in the Southern Carpathian Mountains of Romania.  I analyse how the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) was deployed by policy makers and elites in the first year after EU membership, and how it shaped the livelihood possibilities of tarani (peasants).  Given the polarised nature of Romania’s post-socialist agrarian structure, the CAP excluded peasants from its policies, and demanded they change their exploatatii/ferme de subzistenta; (subsistence farms) into commercial farms.  Arguing from the premise that ‘subsistence farms’ are actually gospodarii taranesti (peasant households) working on different principles from farms altogether, it was possible to inquire into the strategies people deployed resourcefully in their everyday work to keep making a living. I analyse EU integration as a modern political and economic project that seeks to make the radically complicated pathways of people and things ‘transparent’.  I pursue the question of how the neoliberal expansion of economic rationality to all spheres of life shapes the actions of people. My ethnography captures the unease people felt in the face of the current transformation of value and illustrates how a much longer history of devaluing peasants has been taking place.  It makes clear how the devaluation of peasants and their produce is part of a larger epistemological project of development and progress.  My analytical framework enables me to show how the effects of polarisation and externalisation have had serious consequences for the ways people think about questions of freedom, success, merit and the ‘just state’ in Romania today.  My research suggests the need for a broader epistemological shift in the face of crisis, from a dominance approach towards commons thinking.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Mountain people ; Agricultural policy ; Post-communism ; Self-realization ; Carpathian Mountains Region