Project

Transforming Property, State, and Self: Collectivization in Romania, 1948-1962

Program

Fellowships for Postdoctoral Research in East European Studies , ACLS Fellowship Program

Department

Anthropology

Abstract

Funding will support work on a book from a collaborative project on transforming property in communist Romania through the collectivization of agriculture. My aims are to illuminate new aspects of how Parties ruled and to draw conclusions about the nature of property: what it is, and how it is made. I suggest that triangulating property, self, and state—treating property as simultaneously a cultural system, sets of social relations, and an organization of power—enables us to see how collectivization created a different kind of state from the Party's ideal vision, as cadres were assigned tasks greatly exceeding the center's capacity to monitor them. This supports a "weak state" understanding of communist parties and contributed to the chaos of decollectivization in the 1990s.