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

See all articles by Yanhua Deng

Yanhua Deng

Department of Sociology, Nanjing Universtiy

Kevin J. O'Brien

University of California, Berkeley - Charles and Louise Travers Department of Political Science

Li Zhang

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: October 21, 2020

Abstract

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

Deng, Yanhua and O'Brien, Kevin J. and Zhang, Li, How Grassroots Cadres Broker Land Taking in Urbanizing China (October 21, 2020). 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 , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3716411

Yanhua Deng

Department of Sociology, Nanjing Universtiy ( email )

No. 163, Xianlin Avenue, Qixia
Nanjing, Jiangsu 210023
China

Kevin J. O'Brien (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley - Charles and Louise Travers Department of Political Science ( email )

210 Barrows Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

Li Zhang

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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