How Grassroots Cadres Broker Land Taking in Urbanizing China
The Version of Record, after refereeing, has been published in the Journal of Peasant Studies, 21 October 2020, http://www.tandfonline.com/DOI 10.1080/03066150.2020.1822338
37 Pages Posted: 7 Dec 2020
Date Written: October 21, 2020
Grassroots leaders in peri-urban China are increasingly integrated into the bureaucracy but maintain their community ties, and for that reason are often recruited to broker land taking. Incomplete bureaucratization allows frontline cadres to act as both state agents and community members and can expedite “demolition and relocation” (chaiqian). Strategic favouritism and collective pressure are frequently employed to make evictions happen. Although these strategies accelerate expropriation, they do so by dividing a community, and typically leave relocation facilitators feeling exhausted, anxious and mistreated. Compared to land brokers in India, Chinese mediators of dispossession are usually less profit-oriented, and land taking in urbanizing China, though routinely manipulative, sometimes harsh, and almost always “successful,” tends to be more inclusive, collective and negotiated than it is in India.
Keywords: incomplete bureaucratization; social ties, community knowledge, strategic favouritism, collective pressure, land expropriation
JEL Classification: Q15, R14, O53
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation