The Vanishing Hectare

Property and Value in Postsocialist Transylvania

by Katherine Verdery

2011 J. I. Staley Prize

The Vanishing Hectare: Property and Value in Postsocialist Transylvania by Katherine Verdery2003. Cornell University Press

Katherine Verdery’s The Vanishing Hectare encompasses more than a decade of research in the Romanian agricultural village of Aurel Vlaicu. She examines transformations in socialist and post-socialist property regimes, and argues for a socially embedded understanding of the concept of property itself that arcs across both historical themes. Based on long-term fieldwork and masterful synthesis of political economy, ethnography and history, Verdery’s book offers a powerful critique of the economic logic of neo-liberal development schemes, while revealing the dynamics of change and everyday realities for agricultural families in the post-socialist world.

Katherine Verdery, Professor of Anthropology, CUNY Graduate Center

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