Developmental politics and urbanization: two cases in rural China
Jing Song, Brown University
The paper uses in-depth interviews from two villages in China to investigate the role of developmental politics in shaping the patterns of land development, rural industrialization, and migration. Xia village was incorporated into a government project of the local industrial park for foreign investment in 1994, whereas Tian village has witnessed a relatively gradual process of land development and rural industrialization throughout the recent decades. Of particular interest is the finding that the manipulation of transaction in land development may either lead to defensive reactions from local villagers (Xia village), or result in active participation from the private sector (Tian village). In Xia village where peasants used to rely on the collective patronage to gain economic security, urbanization has posed challenge for local villagers when confronted with competitive migrants, while in Tian village, rural industrialization provides plenty of opportunities for the local private sector as well as migrant labor.