Bibliographical noteThis article was researched and written jointly by both authors. For generous financial support, we acknowledge the Henry Luce Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the China Times Cultural Foundation, the Sun Yat-sen Culture and Education Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the Pacific Cultural Foundation. Helpful comments on an earlier draft were provided by Thomas Bernstein, Donald Clarke, Randall Edwards, Kathleen Hartford, Daniel Kelliher, Guang Lei, Michelle Mood, Stanley Rosen, James Scott, and Brantly Womack. Essential assistance in the field was provided by many Chinese colleagues and friends. With their help, we were able to visit twenty-two villages in three provinces and to gain access to (I) conference papers; (2) local circulars; (3) blunt, often handwritten, unpublished contributions to journals and newspapers; (4) personal and institutional archives; and (5) field reports by Chinese researchers. We conducted our interviews from 1992 to 1994 in both formal and informal settings. Our questions were open-ended and evolved as we constructed a mosaic of responses to rural reforms. Most interviewees saw us alone, although in some cases we met several village cadres, for instance, with township and county officials present. Several informants spoke with us on as many as three occasions for a total of more than five hours. We are most grateful to our interviewees.
Reprinted in Frank N. Pieke (ed.), People’s Republic of China, Volume 2 (Hampshire, UK: Ashgate Publishing, November 2002), pp. 351-384.