52 SOCIAL SCIENTIST
important publications in English) are intended to suggest the major issues and controversies affecting this field. Contributions by Donald Attwood, B.B. Chaudhuri, Meghnad Desai, Ashok Rudra, and Lloyd Rudolph and S.H. Rudolph are supposed to take up particular substantive issues, clarifying some of the central concepts, e.g., agrarian power, productivity, or the relationship between the two, etc., which animate the volume. (We shall examine this claim later, in some detail.) However, what we have just said does not give a sufficient clue to the individual contributions. Hence, we shall, very briefly, state the thrust of each of these (in the order of their appearance in the volume).
THE INDIVIDUAL PAPERS
Donald W. Attwood, in his essay on 'Capital and the Transformations of Agrarian Class Systems: Sugar Production in India*, seeks to explain a high rate of growth of productivity in the sugar industry of western India, in terms of its high requirements of capital—'a cropping system which demands heavy capital investment also stimulates a high demand for human capital—that is, for skills to manage the investment-efficiency1. Efforts to improve managerial efficiency then stimulate technical and organizational innovations which provide something of an internal engine for growth and structural transformation (p. 22). Thus along with explaining growth, Attwood argues, the logic of economic processes also reshapes the production system, including the system of class relations. Clearly his argument, logically a neat one, with its focus on the importance of capital and expertise (reverberations of Schumpeter's argument are quite distinct), captures a significant factor explaining growth and transformation, but it would obviously require major qualifications in specific instances, depending on the balance of other relevant variables; as Attwood himself acknowledges, his argument 'is intended to complement, rather than displace, others based on ecology, history and social structure* (p. 46).
David Ludden's contribution, 'Productive Power in Agriculture: A Survey of Work on the Local History of British India*, intended to be both bibliographic and analytical, is primarily of the former sort. Even at that, it is not exhaustive, as Ludden himself acknowledges.
The central argument of B.B. Chaudhuri's essay, ('Rural Power Structure and Agricultural Productivity in Eastern India, 1757-1947), is that agricultural stagnation in parts of greater Bengal during this period was not due primarily, or even mainly, to the nature of the rural power structure. Chaudhuri uses 'rural power' to mean the power derived from control over land, reinforced occasionally by control over rural credit; changes in the size of cultivation are used as proxies for productivity (in view of the inadequacy of the available productivity data). In terms of these definitions, he critically analyses the main components of the rural power structure in a dynamic setting, and examines its relationship with productivity with a great deal of