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The Great Urban TransformationPolitics of Land and Property in China$
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You-tien Hsing

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199568048

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199568048.001.0001

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Peasant Relocation and Deterritorialization

Peasant Relocation and Deterritorialization

(p.181) Chapter 7 Peasant Relocation and Deterritorialization
The Great Urban Transformation

You‐tien Hsing (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Chapter 7 looks at peasants who lost their land to urban expansion in the last three decades. It seeks a territorial explanation for the gap between the magnitude of peasants' grievances and the low frequency of protests on the one hand, and peasant's mobilizational capacity on the other. It argues that the mobilizational capacity of peasants is undermined by the snowballing effect of forced relocation. Forced relocation often leads to the deterioration of villagers' household financial status, disintegration of village organization, and rupture of collective identity, all of which contribute to village deterritorialization. More specifically, relocation produces deterritorialization through nebulous compensation negotiations that undermine mutual trust within villages, phased demolition and relocation that gradually destroy the physical environment and village solidarity, and switching peasants' status from members of village collectives to urban residents, thereby splitting villagers' interests. These moves weaken villagers' potential for successful collective action.

Keywords:   peasant mobilization, land grabs, displacement, dispossession, relocation, deterritorialization, village shareholding system, collective identity, collective organization

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