Livelihood adaptation and life satisfaction among land-lost farmers: Critiquing China’s urbanisation-driven land appropriation

Weiming Tong, Liyuan Zhu, Kevin Lo

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/21295

Abstract


Large-scale rural land appropriation and displacement, driven by the unprecedented urban growth currently experienced in China, has created millions of land-lost peasants who live in the city but remain culturally, socially and institutionally rural. The situation has attracted growing attention in the literature because of its negative social impact, but relatively few studies have addressed how land-lost farmers adapt to urban ways of life and what factors influence their life satisfaction. In this paper, we investigate the predictors of livelihood adaptation and life satisfaction of land-lost farmers from a land appropriation case in the city of Changchun, Northeast China. The results show that, five years after the  appropriation, livelihood adaptation remained very difficult and life satisfaction was poor among the resettlers. Furthermore, marginalised groups, such as those  who were older, less educated and from smaller families, and those with lower pre-displacement income were less likely to have a higher income level after resettlement, resulting in a lower level of life satisfaction. Women also had lower life satisfaction than men. The study highlights an urgent need to improve China’s unjust land appropriation policy with a particular focus on attending to the needs of marginalised groups.


Keywords


Land-lost farmers, livelihood adaptation, life satisfaction, land appropriation and displacement, China

Full Text:

PDF

References


Berry J. W. (1997) Immigration, acculturation, and adaptation. Applied Psychology, 46(1): 5-34.

Cai J., Wang T., Xia X., Chen Y., Lv H. & Li N. (2019) Analysis on the Choice of Livelihood Strategy for Peasant Households Renting out Farmland: Evidence from Western Poverty-Stricken Areas in China. Sustainability, 11(5): 1424.

Cao Y. & Zhang X. (2018) Are they satisfied with land taking? Aspects on procedural fairness, monetary compensation and behavioral simulation in China’s land expropriation story. Land Use Policy, 74: 166-178.

Chambers R. & Conway G. (1992) Sustainable rural livelihoods: practical concepts for the 21st century: Institute of Development Studies (UK).

Chaolin G. U., Liya W. U. & Cook I. (2012) Progress in research on Chinese urbanization. Frontiers of Architectural Research, 1(2): 101-149.

Chen J., Yin S., Gebhardt H. & Yang X. J. (2018) Farmers' livelihood adaptation to environmental change in an arid region: A case study of the Minqin Oasis, northwestern China. Ecological Indicators, 93: 411-423.

Chen Y., Lü B. & Chen R. (2016) Evaluating the life satisfaction of peasants in concentrated residential areas of Nanjing, China: A fuzzy approach. Habitat International, 53: 556-568.

Colic-Peisker V. (2009) Visibility, settlement success and life satisfaction in three refugee communities in Australia. Ethnicities, 9(2): 175-199.

Dan M. & Yanfeng W. (2006) Why Farmers in J City Refuse to Be Citizens: Security economics of suburban farmers. Sociological Studies, 6: 4573.

Davies S. & Hossain N. (1997) Livelihood adaptation, public action and civil society: a review of the literature. IDS Working Paper 57, Brighton: IDS.

Deng X., Huang J., Rozelle S., Zhang J. & Li Z. (2015) Impact of urbanization on cultivated land changes in China. Land Use Policy, 45: 1-7.

Ding C. (2007) Policy and praxis of land acquisition in China. Land Use Policy, 24(1): 1-13.

Dong C., Liu X. & Klein K. (2012) Land degradation and population relocation in Northern China. Asia Pacific Viewpoint, 53(2): 163-177.

Fang Y. (2006) Residential satisfaction, moving intention and moving behaviours: A study of redeveloped neighbourhoods in inner-city Beijing. Housing Studies, 21(5): 671-694.

Gu C., Wu L. & Ian C. (2012) Progress in research on Chinese urbanization. Frontiers of Architectural Research, 1(2): 101-149.

Guo X. (2001) Land expropriation and rural conflicts in China. The China Quarterly, 166: 422-439.

Hao P. & Tang S. (2015) Floating or settling down: the effect of rural landholdings on the settlement intention of rural migrants in urban China. Environment and Planning A, 47(9): 1979-1999.

He C., Chen T., Mao X. & Zhou Y. (2016) Economic transition, urbanization and population redistribution in China. Habitat International, 51: 39-47.

He S., Liu Y., Webster C. & Wu F. (2009) Property Rights Redistribution, Entitlement Failure and the Impoverishment of Landless Farmers in China. Urban Studies, 46(9): 1925-1949.

Heilig G. K. (1997) Anthropogenic factors in land-use change in China. Population Development Review: 139-168.

Hu W., Zhang X., Song Y., Shen L., Liu J. & Zhang A. (2014) Life satisfaction approach to farmers’ compensation for land acquisition: empirical study from the suburbs of Wuhan City. Chinese Journal of Population Resources and Environment, 12(4): 316-323.

Huang X., Huang X., He Y. & Yang X. (2017) Assessment of livelihood vulnerability of land-lost farmers in urban fringes: A case study of Xi'an, China. Habitat International, 59: 1-9.

Hui E. & Bao H. (2013) The logic behind conflicts in land acquisitions in contemporary China: A framework based upon game theory. Land Use Policy, 30(1): 373-380.

Hui E. C. M., Bao H. J. & Zhang X. L. (2013) The policy and praxis of compensation for land expropriations in China: An appraisal from the perspective of social exclusion. Land Use Policy, 32: 309-316.

Jiang Y., Waley P. & Gonzalez S. (2018) ‘Nice apartments, no jobs’: How former villagers experienced displacement and resettlement in the western suburbs of Shanghai. Urban Studies, 55(14): 3202-3217.

Keliang Z. & Prosterman R. (2007) Securing land rights for Chinese farmers: A leap forward for stability and growth. Cato Development Policy Analysis Series, 3.

King E. G., Unks R. R. & German L. (2018) Constraints and capacities for novel livelihood adaptation: lessons from agricultural adoption in an African dryland pastoralist system. Regional Environmental Change, 18(5): 1403-1410.

Kura Y., Joffre O., Laplante B. & Sengvilaykham B. (2017) Coping with resettlement: A livelihood adaptation analysis in the Mekong River basin. Land Use Policy, 60: 139-149.

Li J., Wang F., Wuzhati S. & Wen B. (2016) Urban or village residents? A case study of the spontaneous space transformation of the forced upstairs farmers' community in Beijing. Habitat International, 56: 136-146.

Li P. S. (2004) Social capital and economic outcomes for immigrants and ethnic minorities. Journal of International Migration, 5(2): 171-190.

Lin G. C. & Ho S. P. (2005) The state, land system, and land development processes in contemporary China. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 95(2): 411-436.

Lin G. C., Li X., Yang F. F. & Hu F. Z. (2015) Strategizing urbanism in the era of neoliberalization: State power reshuffling, land development and municipal finance in urbanizing China. Urban Studies, 52(11): 1962-1982.

Lin G. C. & Zhang A. Y. (2015) Emerging spaces of neoliberal urbanism in China: Land commodification, municipal finance and local economic growth in prefecture-level cities. Urban Studies, 52(15): 2774-2798.

Liu Y., Wang L. & Long H. (2008) Spatio-temporal analysis of land-use conversion in the eastern coastal China during 1996–2005. Journal of Geographical Sciences, 18(3): 274-282.

Lo K., Xue L. & Wang M. (2016) Spatial restructuring through poverty alleviation resettlement in rural China. Journal of Rural Studies, 47: 496-505.

Mbakem E. A. & Collins A. E. (2014) Dealing with the Grey Contours: Displacement Circumstances and Livelihood Adaptation between Congo Brazzaville and the United Kingdom. Journal of Asian and African Studies, 49(1): 100-114.

Ong L. H. (2014) State-led urbanization in China: Skyscrapers, land revenue and “concentrated villages”. The China Quarterly, 217: 162-179.

Qian Z. (2015) Land acquisition compensation in post-reform China: Evolution, structure and challenges in Hangzhou. Land Use Policy, 46: 250-257.

Qian Z. (2017) Resettlement and adaptation in China's small town urbanization: Evidence from the villagers' perspective. Habitat International, 67: 33-43.

Roncoli C., Ingram K. & Kirshen P. (2001) The costs and risks of coping with drought: livelihood impacts and farmers' responses in Burkina Faso. Climate Research, 19(2): 119-132.

Shen J. (2012) Livelihoods and sustainable pathways of land lost farmers in China: a study on Xingwen County. PhD Thesis, Instituto Universitario de Lisboa.

Shen J., Feng Z. & Wong K.-Y. (2006) Dual-track urbanization in a transitional economy: The case of Pearl River Delta in South China. Habitat International, 30(3): 690-705.

Song Y., Wang M. Y. & Lei X. (2016) Following the money: Corruption, conflict, and the winners and losers of suburban land acquisition in China. Geographical Research, 54(1): 86-102.

Tan Y. & Wang Y. Q. (2003) Rural resettlement and land compensation in flooded areas: The case of the Three Gorges Project, China. Asia Pacific Viewpoint, 44(1): 35-50.

Tang S., Hao P. & Huang X. (2016) Land conversion and urban settlement intentions of the rural population in China: A case study of suburban Nanjing. Habitat International, 51: 149-158.

Tian L. & Ma W. (2009) Government intervention in city development of China: A tool of land supply. Land Use Policy, 26(3): 599-609.

Tong W., Zhang P., Lo K., Chen T. & Gao R. (2017) Age‐differentiated impact of land appropriation and resettlement on landless farmers: a case study of Xinghua village, China. Geographical Research, 55(3): 293-304.

Wang W. W. & Fan C. C. (2012) Migrant workers' integration in urban China: Experiences in employment, social adaptation, and self-identity. Eurasian Geography and Economics, 53(6): 731-749.

Wilmsen B. (2016a) After the Deluge: A longitudinal study of resettlement at the Three Gorges Dam, China. World Development, 84: 41-54.

Wilmsen B. (2016b) Expanding capitalism in rural China through land acquisition and land reforms. Journal of Contemporary China, 25(101): 701-717.

Wise R. M., Butler J. R. A., Suadnya W., Puspadi K., Suharto I. & Skewes T. D. (2016) How climate compatible are livelihood adaptation strategies and development programs in rural Indonesia? Climate Risk Management, 12: 100-114.

Wong K. K. & Zhao X. (1999) The influence of bureaucratic behavior on land apportionment in China: the informal process. Environment Planning C: Government Policy, 17(1): 113-125.

Xu B., Yang X. & Chen J. (2011a) Discussion on the “two separations and two exchanges”: a rural land reclamation and readjustment mode in Jiaxing City of Zhejiang Province. China Land Science, 25(1): 37-42.

Xu Y., Tang B.-S. & Chan E. H. (2011b) State-led land requisition and transformation of rural villages in transitional China. Habitat International, 35(1): 57-65.

Yang D. Y.-R. & Wang H.-K. (2008) Dilemmas of local governance under the development zone fever in China: a case study of the Suzhou region. Urban Studies, 45(5-6): 1037-1054.

Zhang T. (2000) Land market forces and government's role in sprawl: The case of China. Cities, 17(2): 123-135.

Zhao Y. & Webster C. (2011) Land Dispossession and Enrichment in China’s Suburban Villages. Urban Studies, 48(3): 529-551.








Print ISSN: 1732-4254
Online ISSN: 2083-8298

Partnerzy platformy czasopism