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26 OCT 2023 (THU) 16:00-17:30

Updated: Oct 31

China Development Studies Elite Seminar Series

New Frontiers of Rural-Urban Transformation in China

Date: 26 OCT 2023 (Thursday)

Time: 16:00-17:30 (HKT)

Venue: CLL, Department of Geography, 10.10, 10/F, The Jockey Club Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU

Registration link:



Since the 2000s, the study of peri-urban transformation in China has been dominated by the non-agrarian conversions of rural land for industrial, infrastructure, and real estate development. In recent years, however, the Chinese government’s drive to safeguard food security through agricultural modernization has created new frontiers of development at the edges of Chinese cities. As the COVID-19 pandemic and mounting geopolitical uncertainties reignited fears about whether China can feed itself, the leadership has redoubled its efforts in ensuring grain self-sufficiency by reclaiming farmland, building agricultural parks, and cultivating “new subjects” of agriculture in the form of dragonhead enterprises. Drawing on case studies in Guangdong province, this presentation examines the processes of agrarian change unfolding at the periphery of cities and unravels how they articulate with the politics of land and urbanization. In doing so it broadens the horizon in understanding the variety of actors involved in peri-urban transformation and creates new dialogue between agrarian and urban studies.

Dr. Karita Kan

Associate Professor, Department of Applied Social Sciences, Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Karita Kan is an associate professor at the Department of Applied Social Sciences, Hong Kong Polytechnic University. She received her PhD in Politics from the University of Oxford. Her broad research interests lie in the political economy and social dynamics of China’s post-socialist transition in the rural-urban context. She has published on the politics of land and property, urbanization and changing state-society relations in grassroots governance, and China’s role in global development. Her work can be found in journals including Geoforum, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Journal of Rural Studies, Journal of Agrarian Change, China Journal, China Quarterly, and Journal of Contemporary China.


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