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Title: Land, distributive politics and rural governance in reform China
Author: Kan, Ching Yeung
ISNI:       0000 0004 5362 4810
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis is concerned with distributive politics arising from land development and territorial changes in reform China. It adopts a historical institutionalist approach in examining the evolution of rural institutions, with a specific focus on the rural shareholding cooperative and the village joint stock company. It argues that despite the move towards the market in the reform era, core elements of the state socialist redistributive economy imposed upon rural society in the Maoist era have been sustained and reproduced in the two reform-era institutions. The re-collectivisation of the village through the shareholding reform has provided the institutional foundations for the continued deployment of redistributive power and the reproduction of paternalistic relations that generate expectations of the fulfilment of an implicit social contract. This thesis argues that while the reforms have helped to hold the village together in the midst of drastic territorial change, the very operation of the institutions may be generating endogenous pressures for change as they heighten propensity of power abuse and produce unequal distributive outcomes. These internal contradictions were exacerbated by the checun gaizhi reform, which abolished grassroots organisations of self-governance and created semi-private entities, which by their straddled nature were not subjected to any effective mechanisms of checks and balances. This privatisation of rural governance has profound implications on rural outcomes. By comparing and contrasting the divergent trajectories undertaken by three villages that shared similar characteristics, this thesis sheds light on some of the deeply problematic aspects of rural governance in contemporary China.
Supervisor: Thornton, Patricia Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Political science ; China ; rural development ; urbanization ; politics and government ; land use