Rural Transformations and Development – China in Context
Show Less

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.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 5: Building Livelihoods: How Chinese Peasants Deal with State Regulation of Opportunity and Risk

Flemming Christiansen


Flemming Christiansen HOUSEHOLD RESPONSIBILITY AND RATIONALITY 1 In China policy in the first place signifies a major control mechanism for the allocation of resources in the political economy, and in the second a trail-blazer for new forms of large-scale, often global, incorporation and commercial control; only in the third place comes policy as a regulator acting for the well-being of ordinary people and as a protector of the weak; this reflects how the role of the state is still gradually changing from planning to regulation and redistribution.1 China’s rural transformation is, in essence, a massive social transformation away from the ‘rural’ as we know it, towards an urban reality. Although it is willed by policy, its main dynamics and forms emerge from infinite interests and practices converging in transient institutions of behaviour, occasionally nudged and guided by state intervention and gradually leading to reformulations of policy. This chapter explores the intersection of peasant livelihoods and state intervention in China in recent decades, during which society and people have undergone huge changes. It does this by examining how people in China make a living and how the state directs development through policy initiatives, seeking to address issues of what structures agency and purpose of action both for the individual and for policy-makers. In doing so, it will rethink some common conceptions of livelihoods and livelihood strategies, and will use risk as a core notion, that is, risk as an outcome of policy and risk as a resource in livelihoods strategy. The...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information

or login to access all content.