Development and Urbanization
Although China is experiencing rapid urbanization process, village is still the basic socio-economic unit in rural China and could be seen as the cell of the rural system. A profound understanding of the nature of village development has important theoretical and practical values. This study aims to explore what makes better village development in traditional agricultural areas of China based on long-term observation of typical villages. The main findings suggest that rural elites are crucial actors in the transformational development of relatively successful villages, the success of these villages is based on the integration and coordination of internal and external driving forces, the participation, negotiation and cooperation among key actors, and the formation and development of rural networks with these key actors. These actors, interactions and processes could be theorized as a conceptual model for rural development-the bearing model. This study could help us better understand the political ecology of rural development during the transition from urban bias to rural priority.