Agrarian Capitalization without Capitalism? Capitalist Dynamics from Above and Below in China

Yan Hairong, Chen Yiyuan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)


Cooperatives, family farms and dragon-head enterprises are emerging as new subjects of agriculture in China and are being promoted by the Chinese government as engines of agricultural development. The current dynamics of increasing capitalization of agriculture in China has been characterized by scholar Philip Huang as 'Capitalization without Proletarianization'. Through case studies, we examine the dynamics of accumulation in Chinese agriculture, as well as the government's agriculture policy shift. We argue that capitalist dynamics exist in Chinese agricultural production and they come from above and below. We also argue that Chinese government's policy shift towards de-peasantization began in the early years of the rural reform.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)366-391
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Agrarian Change
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • Agrarian capitalism
  • Agrarian populism
  • Capital accumulation
  • Chayanov
  • China

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Archaeology
  • Anthropology
  • Archaeology

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