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Title: Suspension 2.0 : segregated development, financial speculation, and waiting among resettled peasants in urban China
Authors: Zhan, Y 
Issue Date: Jun-2021
Source: Pacific affairs, June 2021, v. 94, no. 2, p. 347-369
Abstract: Since the late 2000s, many rural-to-urban migrants in China have lost their rural land to development plans, resettled in designated areas, and acquired formal urban residency. They stopped migrating, and have apparently ended their life of “suspension,” namely protracted mobility. While most existing research literature on this population foregrounds the issue of land dispossession, this article argues that, following resettlement, these former migrants’ lives can be more accurately characterized as a state of suspension instead of dispossession. Many resettled young adults, while having secured livelihood thanks to state compensation, are excluded from the technology- and capital-intensive developments to which they have lost their land. Some of these young people instead became petty speculators and rentier capitalists by liquidating their compensated assets through mortgages, private lending, rent, and other financial means. They are constantly waiting for the next investment opportunity and windfall gain. Although physically settled down and economically secure, they remain anxious and unsettled. They continue to orient their lives towards an elusive future rather than striving to transform the here and now, thus living in a state that I call “suspension 2.0.”
Keywords: Resettlement
Resettled peasants
Rural to urban migration
Escape suspension
Segregated development
Financial speculation
Development induced resettlement
Rent derived from state provided assets
New urban residents
Imagined continuation of growth
Resettlement housing compensation
Publisher: University of British Columbia
Journal: Pacific affairs 
ISSN: 0030-851X
DOI: 10.5509/2021942347
Rights: © Pacific Affairs: Volume 94, No. 2 June 2021
This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Pacific Affairs. The definitive publisher-authenticated version is available online at:
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