The Rural Reconstruction Movement in China

“Dr Sit Tsui, associate Professor at the Institute of Rural Reconstruction of China, Southwest University, takes us on an alternative journey through the last century of Chinese history. Since 1900, successive waves of rural reconstruction have provided a vibrant alternative to both capitalist and socialist modernisation programmes. In the face of the destruction of rural communities, the rural reconstruction movement has developed as series of innovative grassroots initiatives that work for the well-being of all. China’s recent history has been a story of rapid industrialisation, but just as no system is ever truly uniform or all-encompassing, diverse and dynamic alternatives have thrived away from the centre. At the turn of the last century, social activists and intellectuals came together in in the villages of North China to create a series of radical social experiments in neighbourhood organisation, education and local enterprise. The 1950s -1980s saw a second wave of Rural Reconstruction that revived traditional small-scale peasant economies and restored rural self-governance. From 2000 intellectuals and social activists have come together again to revive the Rural Reconstruction Movement. This new wave has seen the emergence of organic farming, peasants’ cooperatives, clubs of peasant workers, and community supported agriculture, among others. In harmony with this, from 2007, central government policy has placed “Ecological Civilization” as a guiding principle of the whole nation.”


About dmf

alienist @ large, mostly on foot
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