We have launched E-mail Alert service,subscribers can receive the latest catalogues free of charge

You Are Here: Home > Experts> Zhao Shukai> Books

Liu Shijin

Farmers' New Destiny


Farmers' New Destiny

By Zhao Shukai

This book focuses upon the historical destiny of farmers in contemporary China. Based on the issue of migrant workers, who moved away from agriculture since reform was launched, and through empirical observation and behavioral analysis as the principal approach, the book presents an in-depth analysis of the interaction between farmers and government policies following certain internal logic. Over the past 30 years, a number of policies have been implemented relating to migrant farmers and despite the priority given to issues concerning agriculture, rural areas, and farmers, there still remain daunting obstacles within the system of the government and relevant policies are still shackled by conventional thinking. The solution to the problem of farmers calls for both institutional innovation and the enlightenment of political awareness. The process of solving the issue of migrant workers is, in essence, one of turning the farmers into permanent urban residents. The completion of this process would mark the transformation of former farmers into new farmers.

The book is entitled "Farmers' New Destiny". It has 4 chapters comprised of 30 articles. The "Introduction" concentrates on the evolution of the historical destiny of Chinese farmers in the context of contemporary political and economic development, and probes into the institutional mechanism inducing farmers' destiny, with an emphasis on the analysis of farmers' fate revealed in the host of migration since the outset of reform.

Chapter One: "New Footstep". It chiefly explores the socio-political implications and economic consequences embodied in farmers' moving away from their hometown and agriculture by overcoming institutional barriers. Issues discussed here respectively include migration right as a human right, organizational mechanism of migration, progression of migration, impact of migration on rural economy, and challenges posed by migration to farmers themselves.

Chapter Two: "New Survival". It mainly illustrates the condition of farmers' urban life in respect of their employment situation, living environment, children's education and social contact, etc. Observations concerning these respects show that farmers, in spite of a twisted urban-rural relationship, have displayed remarkable ingenuity in creating new lives and opportunities, which is best exemplified by how they educate their children. In the meantime, the deep perplexity and institutional pressure facing farmers after their entrance into the city can also be observed.

Chapter Three: "New Governance". It focuses on the challenges brought about by farmers' migration to government policy and urban management. The government is neither mentally prepared nor institutionally adequate for farmers' migration. As a result, while the government management getting stuck in a predicament, the government turns to resort to restrictions and inhibitions under some plausible pretexts. This complicated process, characterized by farmers' opposition against the government and policy progress through farmers' opposition, has revealed certain inherent laws governing policy evolvement and political development no matter whether this process is advancing quickly or slowly, tangibly or intangibly.

Chapter Four: "New Epoch". It primarily discusses the new development trend of farmers' migration since the turn of the new century. It not only analyzed the policy change on the basis of a fresh ruling concept, but also laid bare the newly features relating to migrant workers after the 2008 international financial crisis. Compared with the time when reform was initially implemented, the major change is the rise of the new generation of farmers. They boast a brand new ideology and demand for rights. This is what the government and enterprises fail to imagine and even reluctant to see. The fact that farmers have changed should be taken as the basic standpoint for observations and researches with regard to socio-political development.