Accumulation for Industrialisation in China: Planned Economy (1953-1983), the 'Market Mechanism' (1983-2003) and Beyond

Professor Flemming Christiansen, University of Leeds

15.Oct.2009 09.00 - 10.00
Video Conferencing Room, Roger Stevens Building - Leeds


The presentation will address the ways in which rural production was used to provide funds and resources for investment in urban, state-owned industry on two major periods. The terminology and conceptual framework of rural/urban dualism and "primitive" accumulation will be critically discussed, followed by a systematic examination of the shifting parameters for industrial development in China and of the specific institutional frameworks for accumulation over the two main periods. This involves the rural-urban terms of trade (state trade monopoly/monopsony and administrative determination of prices), the hukou system (limiting mobility), and corvee in the first period, and in the second the combination of labour mobility and hukou (limiting citizenship rights), rural industrialisation and informality, terms of trade (agricultural prices and subsidies), taxation and budget policies, and land requisitioning. The policy shift in 2003 towards more social fairness and consideration for poor and vulnerable groups are briefly considered in terms of whether it is able to challenge the extraction of rural resources for urban and industrial growth.


Prof. Flemming Christiansen is Director of the National Institute for Chinese Studies, White Rose East Asia Centre, and Senior Lecturer in Chinese Studies at the University of Leeds. He received his PhD from the University of Leiden. Dr Christiansen is the author of Chinatown, Europe. An Exploration of Overseas Chinese Identity in the 1990s (RoutledgeCurzon, 2003), The Politics of Multiple Belonging. Ethnicity and Nationalism in Europe and East Asia (Ashgate, 2004), and Remaking Peasant China. Problems of Rural Development and Institutions at the Start of the 1990s (Aarhus University Press, 1990). Dr Christiansen is spending a year as a Visiting Professor at the University of Duisburg-Essen 2009-2010.

Please note that places are limited at this venue. To book a place, please contact Anoushka Kulikowski .

This seminar is part of the World Universities Network Contemporary China Center Virtual Seminars programme. This year’s series will focus on social development and political reform from economic, ethnic and ecological perspectives with a focus on issues of fairness and equality. The series allows audiences around the world to hear from leading scholars in Contemporary China studies and to engage in dialogue with one another across geographic boundaries. Each seminar includes an interactive question and answer session across all sites.

General information on WUN seminars at Leeds can be found at

All welcome!