The cooperative campaign in rural areas and the third path : debate and reflections

Hairong Yan, H. Chen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


A cooperative campaign is now in full momentum in China. There are a lot of controversies going on behind it. Some suggest that we should instead promote specialized cooperatives among the farmers. Some dismiss the majority of the mushrooming cooperatives as"fake."Some propose to take the comprehensive farming associations in Japan,South Korea and Taiwan as our models. These controversies are not just relevant to the agricultural cooperative,they bear upon the debate over China’s path of development. In 1930 s,an agricultural cooperative campaign was also prevalent in China,which was accompanied by furious debates among the intellectuals over China’s future. This paper brings the views and arguments of the intellectuals in these two periods concerning the development of rural cooperative into comparison. We find that the two cooperative campaigns bear similarity with each other in terms of social cognition,judgement of social nature,and the appeal for social reform. We also find that both campaigns are faced with structural predicament. As Chinese rural areas are undergoing rapid transformation,a review of the debate in 1930 s will give us inspiration in addressing current issues.
Original languageChinese (Simplified)
Pages (from-to)180-200
Number of pages21
Journal开放时代 (Open times)
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Fake cooperative
  • Rural differentiation
  • Liang Shuming

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