Farmland for Farmers
24 Nov 15 6.30pm

We are delighted to welcome Dong Zhenghua, formerly Distinguished Professor of Humanities at Peking University and now Professor of Chu Hai College for Higher Education, Hong Kong as the sixth speaker in our Distinguished Lecture Series 2015. His talk is entitled Farmland for Farmers: Problems of Large-scale Enclosure of Farmland in China.


One key question in today’s China is how to protect the farmers’ farmland? Under China’s ‘collective farmland ownership’ system, ultimate ownership of land is difficult to determine. With a growing economy, demand for land also grows.

Local government and real estate companies, can all too easily requisition land in the name of public demand with minimal compensation to the farmers. Conversely there is an increasing need for more agricultural activity.

At present there is a danger of large-scale enclosure of farmland becoming an acute issue and land related disputes being exacerbated. Is the solution to confer peasant families with perpetual rights under the Constitution? What would the impact of such a policy be and is there a way ahead which will treat individuals fairly and address the conflicting demands?


DongZhenghua 1

 Dong Zhenghua, former Director of the Centre for Modernization Studies (1999-2014) and Distinguished Professor of Humanities (2012-14) at Peking University, is currently a Professor  at Chu Hai College for Higher Education, Hong Kong.

His publications on agrarian problems include

  • Farmers onto Modernity (2014);
  • Nanjie Village: a Market Oriented Collective (Equity, Exclusion and Liberalization: a debate among historians-Papers of the 1996 SEPHIS workshop, Zanzibar);
  • Reserve the Land for Family Farming: On the Use of Farmland and the Future of the Peasantry in China (Global Capitalism and the Future of Agrarian Society, 2012);
  • Does China Need to Develop Agrarian Capitalism? (Chinese Studies in History, vol. 47, no.2, Winter 2013-14. M.E. Sharpe, Inc.)

Event Details

This talk will take place in the lower ground level lecture theatre LG.11 of the David Hume Tower, University of Edinburgh,EH8 9JY from 6.30pm.  A drinks reception will follow.  All welcome