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The development of markets and the penetration of capital into agriculture have started the agrarian transition in rural China, which is transforming smallholding, household-based agriculture into various forms of capitalistic production. This again raises in a new historical and social context the long-debated question in the agrarian transition literature: Can family farms survive the onslaught of capitalist agriculture based on wage labor and what shapes the confrontation between family farms and agro-capital? I argue that it is the local political economy—rather than some natural obstacles in agriculture to the penetration of capitalism—that shapes this confrontation and gives rise to a variety of local patterns in how family producers interact with agro-capital. Conceptually, the primary dimension in which local patterns diverge is how direct producers’ transactions with the product market are mediated. Based on this distinction, I identify three distinct local paths of agrarian transition—agribusiness-led corporate production, independent household production, and cooperative production. I use data collected from fieldwork and secondary sources to show how, in each model, characteristics of the local pattern are shaped by the local political economy.

(This article is in English.)


市场的发展与资本的进入引发了中国的农业转型, 将小规模的家庭农业转变成各种形式的资本化农业。这在一个新的历史与社会背景中重新提出了农业转型研究中一个长期辩论的课题: 在资本化农业的冲击下, 家庭农业能否继续生存? 什么因素塑造家庭农场与农业资本之间的对抗? 本文提出, 是地方的政治经济, 而不是农业生产中某些能阻止资本扩张的天然障碍, 在塑造这种对抗, 并产生出一系列家庭生产者与农业资本之间互动的模式。这些模式间的差异首先来自于直接生产者是如何与产品市场对接。我根据此区分出三种农业转型的地方性路径: 企业带动的公司化生产、农户的独立生产、和合作化生产。我以实证资料来展示, 在每个模式中, 地方的政治经济如何塑造这一模式的特点。

Rural China

An International Journal of History and Social Science 中国乡村研究



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