Table of Contents

Rural Transformations and Development – China in Context

Rural Transformations and Development – China in Context

The Everyday Lives of Policies and People

Edited by Norman Long, Jingzhong Ye and Yihuan Wang

This unique book explores the varied perspectives on contemporary processes of rural transformation and policy intervention in China. The expert contributors combine a critical review of current theoretical viewpoints and global debates with a series of case studies that document the specificities of China’s pathways to change. Central issues focus on the dynamics of state–peasant encounters; the diversification of labour and livelihoods; out-migration and the blurring of rural and urban scenarios; the significance of issues of ‘value’ and ‘capital’ and their gender implications; land ownership and sustainable resource management; struggles between administrative cadres and local actors; and the dilemmas of ‘participatory’ development.

Chapter 13: How Local Politics Shape Intervention Practices in the Xiaolongshan Forest Region of Gansu, NW China

Liu Jinlong

Subjects: asian studies, asian development, asian politics and policy, development studies, agricultural economics, asian development, development studies, economics and finance, agricultural economics, environment, agricultural economics, geography, human geography, politics and public policy, asian politics


Liu Jinlong This chapter focuses on the local politics of village and township relations and examines the contradictions that arose when an attempt was made to introduce a European Community (EC) funded project to establish village committees for forest management planning. The location is a village in the Xiaolongshan Forest Region of Gansu Province, northwest China, where the Natural Forest Protection Programme (NFPP) had been implemented. The case data relate to a series of highly charged political situations that highlight both continuities and transformations in the structure of power and authority in present-day rural China. All the struggles and conflicts that followed the attempt to form a planning committee in the ten project villages were conducted in the name of forest management, but in reality they had little to do with forests at all. Forests are intimately interwoven in rural people’s livelihoods, daily practices and politics, and in China the forest protection programme created arenas of struggle in which both trees and local forest dwellers usually found themselves on the losing side (Doornbos et al. 2000). The high visibility of these unresolved conflicts has spurred theoretical developments, policy interventions and institutional changes (Fairhead and Leach 2000), yet neither local actors nor researchers have developed a solid basis for resolving them. Using an actor-oriented approach (Long and Long 1992; Long 2001), this chapter reveals and describes the various actors – institutional and individual – and their lives and strategies associated with forests. That is, it details the conflicts and accommodations that have to...

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