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DFG Project: Steering Urban-Rural Integration: Administrative Reconfiguration for a Unified Citizenship

A research project funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG)

Duration: 2018-2021

Principal investigators: Prof. Dr. Elena Meyer-Clement (Freie Universität Berlin) and Dr. René Trappel (University of Freiburg)

Description: This project investigates the steering capacity and governability of the Chinese political system with regard to the reforms that are aimed at achieving the "integrated development of urban and rural areas", or in short, "urban-rural integration". The project focuses on the following set of policy issues that are at the core of these reforms: the reforms of China's dual land system; the reorganization of agriculture; the overall coordination of urban development; and the social, economic and political integration of migrants in the cities. It argues that these reforms represent a shift in the center's reform strategy towards completely dismantling the structural duality of China's administration that evolved in the early years of the People's Republic, and that such restructuring has radical implications for central-local and state-society relations. In-depth analysis of the making and implementation of these reforms shall not only provide us with insights into one of the most critical parts of the recent reform agenda, but also improve our understanding of the Chinese political system's capacity to conduct such systemic transformations.