Peasant Relocation and Deterritorialization
Chapter 7 looks at peasants who lost their land to urban expansion in the last three decades. It seeks a territorial explanation for the gap between the magnitude of peasants' grievances and the low frequency of protests on the one hand, and peasant's mobilizational capacity on the other. It argues that the mobilizational capacity of peasants is undermined by the snowballing effect of forced relocation. Forced relocation often leads to the deterioration of villagers' household financial status, disintegration of village organization, and rupture of collective identity, all of which contribute to village deterritorialization. More specifically, relocation produces deterritorialization through nebulous compensation negotiations that undermine mutual trust within villages, phased demolition and relocation that gradually destroy the physical environment and village solidarity, and switching peasants' status from members of village collectives to urban residents, thereby splitting villagers' interests. These moves weaken villagers' potential for successful collective action.
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