Rural modernization and the remaking of the rural citizen in China: Village redevelopment, migration and precarity

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The Chinese government's ambitious plans to modernize the countryside have significant impacts for rural populations. Upgrading or relocating villages is one component of this vision with profound implications for rural citizens. We use multiple social science research methods to investigate ongoing rural transformation in two villages designated for Village Redesign in Anhui Province, China. We show that the Village Redesign process is negatively impacting on the migration–development nexus and the resultant limbo deepens the precarity of high-mobility, translocal households who already experience secondary forms of citizenship and limited social protections. This study raises further questions about the ongoing transformation of rural China and questions the modernizing rural agenda of the Chinese state.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of International Development
Early online date15 Nov 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Nov 2023


  • China
  • countryside
  • migration–development nexus
  • precarity
  • rural transformation
  • translocal

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