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Title: Creating land markets for rural revitalization : land transfer, property rights and gentrification in China
Authors: Kan, K 
Issue Date: Jan-2021
Source: Journal of rural studies, Jan. 2021, v. 81, p. 68-77
Abstract: The reform of collective land ownership in post-socialist contexts offers a useful window into how changes in property rights shape and structure the dynamics of territorial transformation. Focusing on China's rural revitalization campaign, this paper demonstrates how the state, as creator and regulator of land rights and property titles, facilitates landscape change by relaxing regulations over the lease of rural land and creating market institutions that favour land transfers to organized capital, in this case tourism companies and property developers. Far from being a spontaneous process of pure market forces and consumer demand, the state is actively harnessing market forces to achieve land use change and extend planning control over rural land. On the ground, the expanding presence of recreational capital has brought about the remaking of Chinese villages into leisure farms, holiday guesthouses and ecological parks geared towards touristic consumption. The paper calls for further attention to processes of exclusion and displacement that this transformation might engender. By exploring the dynamics of rural gentrification in a post-socialist context, this paper makes the case for the need to pay more attention to the comparative study of property rights and ownership regimes in rural gentrification research, and highlights how the intersection of property rights and state power reveals nuances that underscore the importance of going beyond Western conceptualizations of gentrification.
Keywords: China
Land transfer
Property rights
Rural gentrification
Rural revitalization
Rural tourism
Publisher: Pergamon Press
Journal: Journal of rural studies 
ISSN: 0743-0167
DOI: 10.1016/j.jrurstud.2020.08.006
Rights: © 2020 The Author. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (
The following publication Kan, K. (2021). Creating land markets for rural revitalization: Land transfer, property rights and gentrification in china. Journal of Rural Studies, 81, 68-77. doi:10.1016/j.jrurstud.2020.08.006 is available at
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