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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: November 2019

7 - Conclusion

Summary

In this concluding chapter, I briefly recap the main findings and then examine their broader implications. The case of Wukan Village shows how the strategy of informal control can be effective in the short run but backfire in the long run. The most effective check on autocratic state power is unlikely to come from the state itself, but from an adversarial relationship between local civil society and the state. Independent community leaders and activists who can mobilize their groups and threaten officials with broad-based political mobilization can even the balance of power between the state and society, and create meaningful incentives for responsiveness.