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Title: Social work and sustainable rural development : the practice of social economy in China
Authors: Ku, HB 
Kan, K 
Issue Date: Oct-2020
Source: International journal of social welfare, Oct. 2020, v. 29, no. 4, p. 346-355
Abstract: The impact of globalisation on local agriculture and food systems has brought issues such as food security and rural sustainability to the forefront of policy-making in developing countries. In China, the restructuring of domestic agriculture and liberalisation of trade following accession to the World Trade Organization have led to the growing reliance on imported food and raised concerns for food self-sufficiency and safety. Inspired by the concept of social economy, social workers in China have explored alternative pathways towards sustainable food production and consumption through local initiatives. Based on participatory action research in a Chinese village, this study examines the potential contribution of social work intervention in responding to China’s agrarian challenges. It is shown that by linking rural cooperatives with the local food system and allowing farmers to sell directly to urban consumers at fairer prices, social economy initiatives provide a viable pathway for sustainable transformation by empowering rural producers while giving urban consumers access to sustainably produced food.
Keywords: China
Community practice
Community-Based participatory research
Food insecurity
Green economy
Green social work
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Journal: International journal of social welfare 
ISSN: 1369-6866
EISSN: 1468-2397
DOI: 10.1111/ijsw.12422
Rights: © 2020 Akademikerförbundet SSR (ASSR) and John Wiley & Sons Ltd
This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Ku, H.B. and Kan, K. (2020), Social work and sustainable rural development: The practice of social economy in China. Int J Soc Welfare, 29: 346-355, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions. This article may not be enhanced, enriched or otherwise transformed into a derivative work, without express permission from Wiley or by statutory rights under applicable legislation. Copyright notices must not be removed, obscured or modified. The article must be linked to Wiley’s version of record on Wiley Online Library and any embedding, framing or otherwise making available the article or pages thereof by third parties from platforms, services and websites other than Wiley Online Library must be prohibited.
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