Workshop presentation - 中欧社会论坛 - China Europa Forum

Workshop presentation

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Three decades ago, the rural reform in China instituted a separation between ownership and management of farm land. While the reform kept the rural farm land collective in ownership, it made land use and management rights household-based. Household-based rural economy now faces uncertain future in the context of marketization of productive materials (seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, etc.), urbanization of rural talents, and globalization of capital. The fragmentation of rural community accompanies its difficulty in cultural reproduction. This predicament compels us to search new concepts and practices of development that do not prioritize the interests of city and capital. Efforts to seek alliance and cooperation among rural producers and to rebuild rural community have begun. These valuable experiments are of pivotal importance to forging a future of the rural, to reshaping urban-rural relations, and to redefining “development” in the 21st Century. This workshop is not a conventional academic workshop. While teachers and students concerned with rural issues, as well as grassroots organizers, constitute the majority of this workshop, there are also social work professionals, officials, and media personnel who are supportive of rural cooperatives. Our discussion and debates are oriented towards sharing experiences and perspectives and building common grounds for the social experiments of rural cooperatives. As part of the China-Europe Forum, this workshop aspires to have exchanges between Chinese and European participants. It is our cautious hope that some experiences might be learned from each other provided that we understand each other’s contexts and problems.