Rural Industrialization: Integrated and Sustainable Solutions for Poverty Reduction in Rural China

Graduation Year

Spring 2013

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


International Relations

Reader 1

William Ascher

Rights Information

© 2013 Igor Tischenko


China has achieved unprecedented economic growth and consequent successes in poverty alleviation over the past three decades of economic liberalization and market-oriented reforms. Yet, in order to continue its progress in poverty reduction, while addressing pressing environmental and sociopolitical concerns, it is crucial for China’s leaders to achieve and sustain green, equitable, and robust economic performance in all parts of China. This thesis argues that a reconceptualized and strengthened rural industrialization program would enable China to maintain economic growth and assist with the transition to a domestically driven consumer economy. Moreover, rural industrialization, coupled with targeted administrative and institutional policy modifications, will enable the Chinese government to provide support to millions of its rural poor, thus avoiding social instability and potentially severe internal conflicts. Such a program would also lessen pollution and its associated costs on China’s densely populated cities, by shifting heavy urban industries to relatively less contaminated areas while adopting cleaner, environmentally sustainable technologies, introduced in a participatory manner in consultation with local communities. This approach would concurrently address regional, rural-to-urban, and intra-communal disparities, provide opportunity for “green growth” initiatives, and better equip rural populations to address growing vulnerabilities as a result of climate change.


Keck Center Prize for Best Senior Thesis based in Field Work

This thesis has been removed 2013-07-11.

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