Land Rights & Village Membership - A Comparative Study of Land Rights in Rural China
Radi, Alexander Lee
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This study compares two disputes over land takings compensation in a single village in rural China. One dispute involves a married-out woman excluded from full compensation for a land taking in her natal village; this type of dispute is well addressed in the existing literature. The other dispute involves a man who migrated into the village in the 1990s. The comparison highlights the multiple bases of exclusion from full benefits of village membership. This phenomenon appears most prominently in land claim disputes, where it is typically in the interest of party leaders to exclude individuals in order to maximize gains for local elites and village insiders. An individual’s hukou, gender, and land contracting status can all become bases for exclusion. This study examines the factors, including ambiguous laws, government incentives, and local interests that facilitate these dynamics. The study has policy implications for the voting rights in village elections of rural-to-rural migrants in contemporary China and suggests an agenda for future research.
- East Asian studies