Frank N. Pieke, Elena Barabantseva<br />Jan 1, 2012; 38:3-9<br />
Marxist as well as classical and neo-liberal theories expect that the development of capitalist agriculture will be accompanied by the spread of an agricultural proletariat. That was what happened in eighteenth-century England; it is also what is happening in contemporary India. This article asks, first of all: just what is the size of China’s present agricultural proletariat? And how do we understand and explain those dimensions? Our finding is that, contrary to our own initial expectations, hired agricultural year-workers in China today total only 3 percent of all labor input in agriculture (and short-term workers another 0.4 percent), in sharp contrast to India’s 45 percent, this even while the past two decades have seen very substantial “capitalization” (i.e., increased capital input per unit of land) in agriculture. We term the phenomenon “capitalization without proletarianization,” perhaps the most distinctive characteristic of recent Chinese agricultural development.
From Predator to Debtor : The Soft Budget Constraint and Semi- Planned Administration in Rural China
This article explores the institutions of the Chinese semi-planned administration under which the grassroots role of debtors has loomed large and made possible the transition of grassroots cadres from predators to debtors. The institutional features of the semi-panned administration—the institution of target responsibility, the legacy of cost shifting, and the paternalistic care provided by the socialist state—together with related policy measures explain the pathology of budget deficits and debt problems at the grassroots level across rural China. An investigation into the public finances of grassroots governments in Wenzhou, Wuxi, and Jianshi illuminates how the Chinese semi-planned administration has shaped individual cadres’ calculations and behavior, perpetuated their irresponsible spending, and reproduced local soft budget constraints. This article argues that without an outright revamping of the institutions of the Chinese semi-planned administration, the current practice of simply writing off rural debt through financial bailouts perpetuates soft budget constraints across the countryside.
What Determines Migrant Workers’ Life Chances in Contemporary China? Hukou, Social Exclusion, and the Market
Shaohua Zhan<br />May 1, 2011; 37:243-285<br />
Philip C. C. Huang<br />Nov 1, 2011; 37:569-622<br />
Philip C. C. Huang<br />Nov 1, 2011; 37:567-568<br />Editorial
Since 2004, academics concerned about a prospective fracturing of China’s territory have advanced proposals to phase out ethnic regional autonomy, preferential policies, and other minority rights. Riots in Lhasa, Tibet, in 2008 and Urumqi, Xinjiang, in 2009 gave greater impetus to the proposals, as they moved from academic to wider circles and complaints about preferential policies in criminal justice, family planning, and school admissions grew, with even state recognition of minorities challenged. Yet many minority and some Han intellectuals continue to see the proposals as deleterious to interethnic and minority–state relations and arguments for them based on practices in the United States and India have lacked persuasive power. The state has reacted to this discourse by reemphasizing existing policies, but it has also brought about a “subtle shift” in ethnic policies since 2010, albeit not the shift that proponents of curbing minority rights have sought.