Transforming Rural China

Hardback

Transforming Rural China

9781803928579 Edward Elgar Publishing
Guy M. Robinson, Adjunct Professor, Department of Geography, Environment and Population, School of Social Sciences, University of Adelaide, Australia; Senior Departmental Fellow, Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge, UK
Publication Date: February 2024 ISBN: 978 1 80392 857 9 Extent: c 377 pp
Over the last four decades, China has witnessed dramatic economic growth, transforming into an economic powerhouse with considerable consequences for its rural regions. In this timely book, Guy M. Robinson adeptly navigates the principal elements, key events and significant changes of the transformation of China’s countryside.

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Over the last four decades, China has witnessed dramatic economic growth, transforming into an economic powerhouse with considerable consequences for its rural regions. In this timely book, Guy M. Robinson adeptly navigates the principal elements, key events and significant changes of the transformation of China’s countryside.

Chapters assess economic, social, and environmental aspects of China’s rural transformation, examining the central role of the Chinese Communist Party and government policies in shaping this change. Offering an interdisciplinary perspective, Robinson comprehensively explores the key events in the transition from a rural peasant society to a countryside that is a complex mosaic of ‘hollowed’ villages, ‘desakota’ peri-urban fringes, farming landscapes, tourist attractions, new villages, ‘left behind’ children and elderly, wholesale rural poverty alleviation, and degraded and newly restored ecosystems.

This book will prove to be an essential read for academics and students of geopolitics, human geography, environmental studies, economics and finance, and development studies focusing on China. It will also be an invigorating read for undergraduate and postgraduate students of Chinese and Asian studies.
Critical Acclaim
‘This book offers an impressive and very insightful overview of China’s rural development policies since the 1980s and their outcomes. Guy M. Robinson tackles issues ranging from poverty alleviation, ecological restoration programs and the rise of cooperatives to land consolidation and agricultural modernization. He does not shy away from contentious issues like China’s one-child policy, forced resettlement policies, and rural development policies in western China’s ethnically and culturally diverse regions. A must-read for anyone interested in gaining an objective, science-based view of China’s rural transformation.’
– Nico Heerink, Wageningen University and Research, the Netherlands

‘Informed by half a century of research on rural and environmental dynamics and an extensive review of writings by Chinese scholars, Guy M. Robinson provides an accessible and comprehensive survey of China''s multifaceted and uneven rural-urban, and accompanying agrarian, demographic and social transitions. Along the way, Transforming Rural China is also a valuable guide to further reading on an array of topics, from China''s ecological discourses to regional development and rural tourism.’
– James D Sidaway, National University of Singapore

‘Professor Robinson gives us a unique and clear perspective on China’s rural transformation. He began with the guidance of a Cambridge-trained teacher who shared much of the Western bias towards China. Eventually, through his own endeavours, the collaboration of his Chinese students and friends, and numerous visits to China, he developed an understanding of rural China that most Westerners still do not comprehend, which he shares in this book.’
– Helen Bao, University of Cambridge, UK
Contents
Contents:
Preface
1 Approaches to rural transformation
2 Peasants no more? Social change in the countryside
3 Rural–urban migration and ‘hollowed’ villages
4 Desakota landscapes
5 From collectives to co-operatives
6 Modernising agriculture
7 Rural tourism and rediscovering rural heritage
8 Towards the ecological civilisation: conservation and
afforestation
9 Building the rural future and alleviating rural poverty
10 Way out west: managing China’s ‘colonial’ frontier
11 Whither rural China?
References
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