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The Centrality of Actors and Interfaces in the Understanding of New Ruralities: A Chinese Case Study

By Norman Long and Jinlong Liu

Abstract

This paper aims to demonstrate the advantages of adopting an ethnographic, actor interface approach to understanding the ongoing dynamics of rural development and policy intervention processes. It does so through the discussion of an EU-funded project orientated to introducing village-level forest-management practices in north-west China. The case highlights the ongoing everyday struggles over livelihoods and resources and focuses on the negotiations that take place between the various social actors involved. The case analysis is preceded by a broad-sweep overview of the rise of new ruralities and a discussion of the key elements of an actor interface analysis. The article concludes with a call for more cross-country and cross-regional studies of this kind.China; rural development; municipal/local policy;

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