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postgraduate thesis: State power and village cadres in contemporary China : the case of rural land tenure in Shandong province

TitleState power and village cadres in contemporary China : the case of rural land tenure in Shandong province
Authors
Issue Date2011
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Chen, H. [陈慧荣]. (2011). State power and village cadres in contemporary China : the case of rural land tenure in Shandong province. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b4723422
AbstractHow the state controls village cadres greatly shapes state-peasant relations. This study attempts to examine the relative and varying strengths of state power, village democracy, and social forces in structuring behavior patterns of village cadres in contemporary China. Particularly, three dimensions of state penetration into the countryside, Party organization, the bureaucratic system, and policy campaigns, are highlighted. It is widely accepted that village cadres are structured by top-down Party and bureaucratic control, bottom-up village elections, and informal accountability embedded in rural solidary groups. However, the conditions under which one particular mechanism plays a dominant role need to be further examined. It is also well known that local states seek to control village cadres by routine mechanisms such as Party organizations and the bureaucratic system. However, non-routine policy campaigns are not fully studied. By examining village cadre behavior in land transfers in agricultural rural areas and land expropriation in industrializing rural areas in Shandong province, this research has several findings. First, state penetration is the most powerful explanatory mechanism among others, and village democracy and societal groupings are undermined by state intervention and market forces. Second, local states in agricultural rural areas seem more developmental in land transfers while their counterparts in industrializing rural areas have more predatory elements in land expropriation. Third, village-level controlled comparisons indicate that varying strengthens of state penetration, depending on the implementation of Party organization, the bureaucratic system, and policy campaigns, greatly shape the degree of involvement in land tenure by village cadres. This study has implications for theories in comparative politics. First, the relative explanatory strength of state power, democracy, and social forces needs to be examined in specific contexts: varying issues, regions, sectors, timing and so forth. Second, the state has to be unpacked and differentiated. Third, policy campaigns characterized by ideological control and mass mobilization are powerful policy instruments and a useful remedy for rigid bureaucracy. It indicates that China’s distinctive state penetration can provide a new perspective in conceptualizing the state and studying state infrastructural power.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectLand tenure - Government policy - China - Shandong Sheng
State-local relations - China - Shandong Sheng
Land use, Rural - Government policy - China - Shandong Sheng
Dept/ProgramPolitics and Public Administration
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/207563

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorChen, Huirong-
dc.contributor.author陈慧荣-
dc.date.accessioned2015-01-02T23:17:58Z-
dc.date.available2015-01-02T23:17:58Z-
dc.date.issued2011-
dc.identifier.citationChen, H. [陈慧荣]. (2011). State power and village cadres in contemporary China : the case of rural land tenure in Shandong province. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b4723422-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/207563-
dc.description.abstractHow the state controls village cadres greatly shapes state-peasant relations. This study attempts to examine the relative and varying strengths of state power, village democracy, and social forces in structuring behavior patterns of village cadres in contemporary China. Particularly, three dimensions of state penetration into the countryside, Party organization, the bureaucratic system, and policy campaigns, are highlighted. It is widely accepted that village cadres are structured by top-down Party and bureaucratic control, bottom-up village elections, and informal accountability embedded in rural solidary groups. However, the conditions under which one particular mechanism plays a dominant role need to be further examined. It is also well known that local states seek to control village cadres by routine mechanisms such as Party organizations and the bureaucratic system. However, non-routine policy campaigns are not fully studied. By examining village cadre behavior in land transfers in agricultural rural areas and land expropriation in industrializing rural areas in Shandong province, this research has several findings. First, state penetration is the most powerful explanatory mechanism among others, and village democracy and societal groupings are undermined by state intervention and market forces. Second, local states in agricultural rural areas seem more developmental in land transfers while their counterparts in industrializing rural areas have more predatory elements in land expropriation. Third, village-level controlled comparisons indicate that varying strengthens of state penetration, depending on the implementation of Party organization, the bureaucratic system, and policy campaigns, greatly shape the degree of involvement in land tenure by village cadres. This study has implications for theories in comparative politics. First, the relative explanatory strength of state power, democracy, and social forces needs to be examined in specific contexts: varying issues, regions, sectors, timing and so forth. Second, the state has to be unpacked and differentiated. Third, policy campaigns characterized by ideological control and mass mobilization are powerful policy instruments and a useful remedy for rigid bureaucracy. It indicates that China’s distinctive state penetration can provide a new perspective in conceptualizing the state and studying state infrastructural power.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.subject.lcshLand tenure - Government policy - China - Shandong Sheng-
dc.subject.lcshState-local relations - China - Shandong Sheng-
dc.subject.lcshLand use, Rural - Government policy - China - Shandong Sheng-
dc.titleState power and village cadres in contemporary China : the case of rural land tenure in Shandong province-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb4723422-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplinePolitics and Public Administration-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b4723422-
dc.date.hkucongregation2012-

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