Village Governance of Migrant Farmers: Evidence from a Case Study in Rural China

  • Zuyu Huang Hunan University, School of Public Administration
Keywords: migrant farmers, village governance, rural China, farmers’ cooperative, neoliberalism


This article aims to uncover an important yet under-researched governance field during the massive wave of internal migration in China. In contrast with abundant studies that explore the governmentality of migrant workers in urban China, rare scholar attention is dedicated to the group of migrant farmers who only move within rural China. Drawing on a detailed analysis of governance dynamics of Lianhua village, Hunan province, this study finds that migrant famers could undermine village governance in the place of destination from three dimensions: by disturbing social orders; overpricing or exploiting farmland; and paralyzing operation of village affairs. The critical factor deciding whether migrant farmers commit such acts is the degree of their spontaneous solidarity. This study also finds that implementing collective management among migrant farmers in a neoliberal manner could help address village governance challenges brought by them but is not conducive to their social integration into the hosting societies.


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