An Alternative Perspective on the Household Registration in China

Jiuzhou Press
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Dongxifang Yanjiu Xuekan (International East-West Studies), 2012, 1 (1), pp. 133 - 146
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This paper aims to shed new light on the current debate about the household registration system in China. The paper argues that it is inadequate to assess the household registration system merely from the perspective of policy outcome. Instead, fundamental questions should be asked about the fundamental values underpinning this mechanism which condemns the overwhelming majority of Chinese rural population to the misery of secondclass citizens in name of the people for several decades. As a major institutional arrangement of socialism with Chinese characteristics, the household registration system fits well with Leninist state socialism monopolising social resources and controlling social mobility for the privilege of the party-state, but violates human rights, equality, social justice and other fundamental values of social democracy.
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