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close this bookCERES No. 098 - March - April 1984 (FAO Ceres, 1984, 50 p.)
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Books in brief

Technical progress

Gene F. Summers (ed.) Technology and Social Change in rural Areas A Festschrift for Eugene A. Wilkening Westview Press, Boulder, 1983, 266 p., $ 34.50

The authors of this book have used the history of technological innovations which have profoundly altered rural societies since the Second World War as the vehicle for the organization and flow of the book.

The book is composed of four sets of essays: adoption and diffusion of technological innovation in agriculture; influence of technology on patterns of living and the quality of life in rural areas; possibilities of moulding the technology to fit existing institutional arrangements and the supply of factor inputs, capital, and labour.

Among the contributions we mention those written by Dorner and Butter, who examine the US experience, and by Newby and Galeski, who focus on the "agrarian question" in European settings.

Moreover, in the interesting final essay of the volume Thiesenhusen relates the concept of appropriate technology to the adoption and diffusion of US agricultural technology in less developed countries.

Summers is Professor of Rural Sociology at the University of Wisconsin.

Agricultural development

Eric Clayton - Agriculture, Poverty and Freedom in Developing Countries Macmillan, London, 1983, 278 P., 15 pounds sterling

This volume is a critical review of current objectives and strategies for agricultural development in the less developed countries at policy, project, and farm level. It makes explicit the political basis of various development objectives put forward by scholars, planners, and donor agencies. It then analyses these objectives in relation to the development needs of peasant farm families.

The implementation of effective agricultural policies requires a close understanding of how farmers make decisions and how farm families behave.

The problems of encouraging development by means of agricultural investment projects are considered, and guidelines and recommendations are proposed for the design and operation of monitoring systems for agricultural development projects.

Clayton is head of the Agrarian Development Unit at Wye College, University of London.

International affairs

Giuseppe Schiavone: International Organizations: A Dictionary and Directory Macmillan, London, 1983, 320 p., 25 pounds sterling

This dictionary is a comprehensive guide to the field of international organizations. The introductory essay contains a brief survey of their historical development. The main body of the book contains alphabetically arranged descriptions of a large number of organizations - from the United Nations to specialized agencies and regional institutions in Europe, North and South America, the Near East, Africa, Asia, and the Pacific.

For each agency there is an analysis of objectives, functions, and powers, classes and conditions of membership, acts, institutional structure, and external relations. Next comes an account of the organization's work and an assessment of its role and perspectives in its particular field of activity.

A list of basic references and a list of publications is appended to each entry. Addresses and principal officers of each organization are also listed.

Schiavone is professor of International Organizations at the University of Catania, Italy.

Labour force

Subbiah Kannappan Employment Problems and the Urban Labor Market in Developing Nations Division of Research, University of Michigan Graduate School of Business Administration, Ann Arbor, 1983, 294 p., $ 12

The growth of the urban labour force has been particularly rapid over the last few decades. Dr. Kannappan offers a comparative perspective on the problems of labour and employment in urban areas of development.

He has departed from the dualistic analyses found in the prevailing literature; as an alternative to "polarizing" models which describe "modern" sectors competing with traditional sectors, he maintains that the patterns of economic growth spring from a complete interaction of the two sectors. He shows how the overlooked "entrepreneurial" segment of the urban labour force is a potent channel for the diffusion of modern technology and capital.

Kannappan has been a consultant for several international organizations and has taught at MIT.