Based on a treasure trove of information collected through fieldwork interviews and painstaking documentary research through the Chinese and Western language presses, this book analyzes one of the most important reforms implemented in China over the past decade – the rural tax and fee reform, also known as the "Third Revolution in the Countryside". The aim of the tax was to improve social stability in rural China, which has become increasingly shaken by peasant protests, many of them large-scale and violent. By examining the gap between the intentions of the reform and the eventual outcomes, Göbel provides new insights into the nature of intergovernmental relations in China and highlights the ways in which the relationship between the state and the rural populace has fundamentally changed forever.
The Politics of Rural Reform in China will appeal to students and scholars of Chinese politics, governance and development studies.
Table of Contents
1. ‘Peasant Burden‘ and the Dynamics of Rural Reform and Development 2. Bureaucratic Sprawl, Government Debt and ‘Peasant Burden’: How Serious? 3. The Institutional Sources of Peasant Burden 4. The Limited Agendas: Peasant Burden and Rural Fiscal Reforms 5. From Innovation Networks to Competition under Hierarchy 6. Reform Implementation and Ad-Hoc Policy Innovation 7. Impacts and Outcomes: The Case of Anhui Province 8. Why the ‘Third Rural Revolution’ Failed
Christian Göbel is a researcher of Political Science at the Institute of East Asian Studies, University of Duisburg-Essen, where he also teaches Comparative Politics.