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Daewoo Professor of International Affairs
Director of Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation
This book is a story of one village, Yantian, and its remarkable economic and social transformation. The village sits in the Pearl River Delta, the engine of China's emergence as the hub of global manufacturing and production. The village's success relied on the creation of new economic collectives, its ability to leverage networks, and its proximity to Hong Kong to transform forever the formerly sleepy rural area. The result of almost 20 years of field work by the authors, Chinese Village, Global Market shows how outcomes are shaped by a number of factors such as path dependence, social structures, economic resources and local entrepreneurship.
“In the early 1960s, starving refugees from Dongguan County in southern Guangdong were risking their lives to escape to nearby Hong Kong. In the three decades since 1980, Yantian, a Guangdong village, grew from a small agricultural brigade to a thriving modern community with 80,000 people producing goods for the world. Tony Saich and Biliang Hu explain how the economy, society, and governing structures have developed during the changes.”
— Ezra F. Vogel, Henry Ford II Professor of the Social Sciences Emeritus, Harvard University
“Chinese Village, Global Market: New Collectives and Rural Development is a fascinating study of the transformation of a rural village into one of China’s major industrial and export centers. The innovation that made this transformation possible occurred through the interaction of local leadership with both the central government and the globalizing world economy. The policies of the central government that facilitated this transformation are well known. Far less well known is how so many of the initiatives actually originated with local people, initiatives that affected not only the economy, but also how society is governed at the local level and how public goods from education to health care are provided.”
— Dwight H. Perkins, Harold Hitchings Burbank Research Professor of Political Economy, Harvard University