The study of contemporary China constitutes a fascinating yet challenging area of scholarly inquiry. Recent decades have brought dramatic changes to China's economy, society and governance. Analyzing such changes in the context of multiple disciplinary perspectives offers opportunites as well as challenges for scholars in the field known as contemporary China Studies. The SAGE Handbook of Contemporary China is a two-volume exploration of the transformations of contemporary China, firmly grounded in the both disciplinary and China-specific contexts. Drawing on a range of scholarly approaches found in the social sciences and history, an international team of contributors engage with the question of what a rapidly changing China means for the broader field of contemporary China studies, and identify areas of promising future research. Part 1: Context: History, Economy, and the Environment Part 2: Economic Transformations Part 3: Politics and Government Part 4: China on the Global Stage Part 5: China's Foreign Policy Part 6: National and Nested Identities Part 7: Urbanization and Spatial Development Part 8: Poverty and Inequality Part 9: Social Change Part 10: Future Directions for Contemporary China Studies

The Rural Economy

The Rural Economy

The Rural Economy
Susan H. Whiting Dan Wang


China's rural economy has been the focus of dramatic policy shifts since the founding of the People's Republic in 1949, and holds important lessons for development studies. While Mao Zedong's New China is thought of as a prominent example of a ‘peasant revolution,’ China's ‘peasants’ or farmers were not the direct beneficiaries. The institution of the planned economy used state power to divide the urban and rural economies and to extract resources from the rural sector at unfavorable terms, facilitated by the collective organization of rural society. If the function of the rural economy is to provide labor, food, and raw materials to the broader ...

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