China Seminar 4 May: Peter Ho

SEMINAR | 04 MAY 2011 | Peter Ho | Land Evictions, Real Estate Bubble and Social
Conflict in China


Land Evictions, Real Estate Bubble and
Social Conflict in China


Speaker: Prof. Dr. Ir.
Peter Ho (Professor of Chinese Economy and Development, LIAS/MEARC)

Expertise: Chinese Economy and International
Development Studies

Date and time:  Wednesday, 4 May 2011, 15.15 – 16.00h

This is a departure from the usual format: a 30
minute presentation will be followed by 15 minutes of discussion. We hope this
allows busy people to attend the Seminar without taking away too much of their valuable

Venue:  Arsenaal
building, room 001

Language:  English


This paper examines the current state of the property rights system for
agricultural land in present-day China. It explores whether the
rapid urbanization and forced evictions have had any negative effect on the institutional
credibility of the agricultural land tenure system in terms of the support it
can rally from the rural populace. Based on the findings of a nation-wide rural
survey of over one thousand farms, it is demonstrated that the view of the
Chinese countryside being ripped by grievances over land, might need revision.
In addition, the social support for the rural land lease system – despite its
tenure insecurity due to
redistributions in response to demographic change – has basically remained
unchanged compared with a decade ago. However, the research also found that in
the instances when conflicts over property rights do occur, discord over expropriation due to urban sprawl is one of
the prime causes. This is a matter of concern as it affects farmers’ trust in
the Chinese state in protecting their rights to land.

Speaker’s resume:
Peter Ho is Chair Professor of Chinese Economy and
Development and Director of the Modern East Asia Research Centre (
at Leiden University. Previously he was Chair Professor
of International Development and Director of the Centre for Development
Studies. He has published numerous articles and books on China,
including Institutions in Transition,
Developmental Dilemmas, China’s Limits to Growth and the popular
Dat is Chinees voor Mij.

Ho is Chair of the
European Conference on Agriculture and Rural Development in China (,
and founder of the Academic China Meeting ( He holds various
other positions including board member of the International Institute for Asian
Studies, member of the Scientific Council of the Centre for World Food Studies
(Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) and member of the advisory panel for the Triodos
Bank. He is on the editorial boards of Biodiversity
Academy of Sciences), Conservation and Society, Open Environmental Sciences, and the Journal of Peasant Studies

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organizer: Tineke D’Haeseleer (



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