`Rural Transformations and Development - China in Context is a thoughtful book in both senses - penetrating and packed with ideas. True to its title, it takes the reader through the main socio-economic and political changes of Chinese rural society. The book brings together a selected group of authoritative, international experts on agricultural development with particular reference to China, including Arturo Escobar, Li Xiaoyun and Flemming Christiansen. It is a good read for everyone, and an eminently recommendable text for professionals and students interested in issues of China's rural change.'-Peter Ho, University of Groningen, The Netherlands`This is an insightful and excellent theoretical and empirical collection about China's contemporary agrarian transformation critically studied - not in isolation from either the urban sector or the broader world, but in relation to these. It is a must-read for academics and development policy practitioners who are interested in agrarian and development issues in China in particular and the world more generally.'-Saturnino M. Borras Jr, Saint Mary's University, Canada`Bringing together contributions by some of the leading Western scholars working on paths of rural transformation with studies by their counterparts in China, this book examines the value of contemporary development theories for understanding the specificities of China's trajectory of change. It is a first-class contribution both to Modern China studies and to the renaissance of international research on agrarian change that is now going on. It deserves a wide readership.'-John Harriss, Simon Fraser University at Vancouver, Canada`Interesting comparative perspectives are coupled to extensive on-the-ground research in this exploration of the vast changes underway in China's villages. This book by 19 specialists pushes forward our knowledge of the circumstances and challenges faced by an eighth of humankind.'-Jonathan Unger, Australian National UniversityThis unique book explores the varied perspectives on contemporary processes of rural transformation and policy intervention in China.The expert contributors combine a critical review of current theoretical viewpoints and global debates with a series of case studies that document the specificities of China's pathways to change. Central issues focus on the dynamics of state-peasant encounters; the diversification of labour and livelihoods; out-migration and the blurring of rural and urban scenarios; the significance of issues of `value' and `capital' and their gender implications; land ownership and sustainable resource management; struggles between administrative cadres and local actors; and the dilemmas of `participatory' development.