Paper on “Rural Rejuvenation” presented at annual ASC meeting

In November, Elena Meyer-Clement and René Trappel presented a paper at the annual meeting of the Working Group of Social Science China Research (Arbeitskreis Sozialwissenschaftliche Chinaforschung, ASC) in the German Association of Asian Studies (DGA) in Göttingen. The title was “From ‘New Socialist Countryside’ to ‘Rural Rejuvenation’: What is new in rural China?”.

The paper compares the strategy of Rural Rejuvenation under Xi Jinping with the Building of a New Socialist Countryside in Hu Jintao’s administration, particularly from the Foucauldian perspective of governmentality. The paper argues that the Rural Rejuvenation strategy introduces new approaches to optimize and modernize the rural population, with direct state interference on the retreat and increasing use of offering new rights and benefits.

(From left to right: Moderator Daniel Fuchs, René, and Elena. Credit: Author)

Presentation about China’s migration regime in the workshop on East Asian Migration Governance

Elena Meyer-Clement and Wang Xiang made a presentation titled “Political steering of urban citizenship: China’s migration policy for internal migrants and foreign immigrants” on the workshop on “East Asian Migration Governance in Comparative Perspective: Norm diffusion, Politics of Identity, Citizenship”. The workshop is organized by the Einstein Visiting Fellow Project led by Prof. Dr. Gunter Schubert and it took place at the Graduate School of East Asian Studies, Freie Universität Berlin on October 12-13.

Elena and Xiang’s paper examined the changes in China’s internal migration and immigration policy since Xi Jinping’s administration. They argue that China’s new approach to governing migration is still in the making, but recent policy changes point to further adaptation of China’s approach to international trends of migrant selection, namely attraction of high-skilled labor and rejection of low-skilled labor. The paper is set for publication in the edited volume associated with the workshop.

Wang presents hukou reform research on 14th ICARDC

(Group photo of conference attendees. Credit: ICARDC XIV Organizing Committee)

The 14th International Conference on Agriculture and Rural Development in China (ICARDC XIV) was held in Ningxia University in Yinchuan, Ningxia Province in China from October 21 to 23, 2018.

Wang Xiang made a presentation in the panel “Urbanization and Rural-urban integration” about the latest hukou reforms in Guangdong province. She argues that despite ambitious reform plans to the hukou system, the Chinese government is not abandoning mechanisms that can allocate public resources to different subpopulations and steer internal migration. The urban-versus-rural bifurcation in the hukou system is being replaced by a more refined and tiered system of differentiation that defines what kind of migrants go to what kind of cities. Despite the removal of urban-rural differentiation in the hukou system and the ambitious targets of integrating migrants, China’s citizenship regime appears to retain differentiation rather than move towards unification.

(Credit: author)

Presentation at FUB-PKU workshop on Sustainable Development Goals

March 17-18, Elena Meyer-Clement and René Trappel participated in the workshop “Sustainable Development Goals and Climate Policy in Germany and China”, co-organized by Freie Universität Berlin and Peking University, held at Peking University. Elena gave a presentation on “Challenges of implementing sustainable urbanization in rural and semi-urban China”.

Workshop on “Urbanizing Rural China: Challenges of Rural Governance” and the founding of a new research network

Participants of the workshop “Urbanizing Rural China: Challenges of Rural Governance”

The project (in close cooperation with Jesper Zeuthen, University of Aalborg) organized a international workshop on “Urbanizing Rural China: Challenges of Rural Governance” on February 23-25, 2018, bringing together a wide range of experts from Europe, North America and Asia. Hosted at the Klitgaarden Refugium (a former royal summer residence) on the very northern tip of Denmark, the workshop was generously funded by the Danish Social Science Research Council.

Following the workshop the participants decided to form a research network for further exchange on the modernization of rural China (“Modernizing Rural China”). Scholars interested to join the network are cordially invited to contact Elena Meyer-Clement, René Trappel or Jesper Zeuthen. Furthermore, the participants agreed to pursue a special issue with the contributions of the workshop.

Update: Pending peer review the special issue will appear in China Information.

Update: For conference report, see ASIEN – The German Journal on Contemporary Asia, No. 147 (April 2018)

(Photo credits: René Trappel)