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Urbanising the Rural

Local strategies for creating “new style” communities in China
Lior Rosenberg
p. 63-71


The transition from traditional rural residences to urban-like multi-storey buildings and from traditional villages to rural residential communities (shequ) is one of rural China’s most profound developments of the early twenty-first century. Official discourse highlights the potential benefits for villagers, portraying the new residential communities as gateways to modernity and significant steps toward reducing inequality and disparity between the rural and the urban. Based on extensive research in two counties in Shandong and Anhui provinces, this article concludes that while imposing urban-like models of residence may coincide with prosperous communities’ circumstances, it may easily become a statist venture of predation and a source of tension and rural discontent in less prosperous communities.

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Bibliographical reference

Lior Rosenberg, « Urbanising the Rural », China Perspectives, 2013/3 | 2013, 63-71.

Electronic reference

Lior Rosenberg, « Urbanising the Rural », China Perspectives [Online], 2013/3 | 2013, Online since 01 September 2016, connection on 20 February 2018. URL :

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About the author

Lior Rosenberg

Lior Rosenberg has completed a PhD dissertation at The Australian National University. This year he has taught on Chinese society at Tel Aviv University.The Australian National University, Acton ACT 0200, Australia (

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