Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10397/89237
Title: A weapon of the weak? Shareholding, property rights and villager empowerment in rural China
Authors: Kan, K 
Issue Date: Mar-2019
Source: China quarterly, Mar. 2019, v. 237, p. 131-152
Abstract: As urbanization continues to fuel land and property conflicts in rural China, shareholding has been promoted as a reform in property rights that would enhance bottom-up control in the governance of collective assets. The recent proliferation of community-based shareholding companies has been credited for giving villagers new identities as shareholders, which entitle them to vote, receive their share of collective profits, and elect the managers of their wealth. This paper critically appraises these reforms and offers a contrarian perspective to singular narratives of villager empowerment. While shareholding clarifies villagers’ rights of control, income and transfer in collective property, the effective exercise of such powers is often forestalled on the ground by the concentration of power in elite hands. To the extent that formal and informal constraints on cadre power remain tenuous, shareholding could function as a vehicle for the powerful to appropriate collective wealth rather than as a weapon of the weak.
面对城市化带来的土地与产权糾紛,地方政府近年嘗試引入農村股份制度,透过产权改革加强村民对集体资产自下而上的管理。社区性股份公司的设立为村改居的村民带来投票、获得分红收入、及推选集体资产管理者等机会。本文针对这些政策实验及其成果提出另一角度的观察。股份改革厘定了村民对集体资产的控制权和分配权,但这些权利的实际行使往往受制于村内精英的权力。若缺乏对这些地区精英的权力的有效监控,股份制很容易成为强者侵吞集体资产的途径,而不是赋权予弱者的措施。
Keywords: Shareholding
Collective economy
Property rights
Village self-government
Land politics
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Journal: China quarterly 
ISSN: 0305-7410
EISSN: 1468-2648
DOI: 10.1017/S0305741018001352
Rights: This article has been published in a revised form in The China Quarterly https://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0305741018001352. This version is free to view and download for private research and study only. Not for re-distribution or re-use. © SOAS University of London 2018
When citing an Accepted Manuscript or an earlier version of an article, the Cambridge University Press requests that readers also cite the Version of Record with a DOI link. The article is subsequently published in revised form in The China Quarterly https://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0305741018001352
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