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Rana Siu Inboden examines China's role in the international human rights regime between 1982 and 2017 and, through this lens, explores China's rising position in the world. Focusing on three major case studies - the drafting and adoption of the Convention against Torture and the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture, the establishment of the UN Human Rights Council and the International Labour Organization's Conference Committee on the Application of Standards - Inboden shows China's subtle yet persistent efforts to constrain the international human rights regime. Based on a range of documentary and archival research, as well as extensive interview data, Inboden provides fresh insights into the motivations and influences driving China's conduct and explores China's rising position as a global power.
In the Xi Jinping era, it has become clear that the rule of law, as understood in the West, will not appear in China soon. But was this ever a likely option? This book argues China's legal system needs to be studied from an internal perspective, to take into account the characteristic architecture of China's Party-state. To do so, it addresses two key elements: ideology and organisation. Part One of the book discusses ideology and the law, exploring how the Chinese Communist Party conceives of the nature of law and its position within its broader range of policy tools. Part Two, on organisation and the law, reviews how these ideological principles manifest themselves in the application of law, as well as the reform of the Party-state. As such, it highlights how the Party's plans and approaches run counter to mainstream theoretical expectations, and advocates a greater attention to the inherent logic of the system itself.
In the first study to incorporate majority Han and minority Uyghur perspectives on ethnic relations in Xinjiang following mass violence during July 2009, David Tobin analyses how official policy shapes identity and security dynamics on China's northwest frontier. He explores how the 2009 violence unfolded and how the party-state responded to ask how official identity narratives and security policies shape practices on the ground. Combining ethnographic methodology with discourse analysis and participant-observation with in-depth interviews, Tobin examines how Han and Uyghurs interpret and reinterpret Chinese nation-building. He concludes that by treating Chinese identity as a security matter, the party-state exacerbates cycles of violence between Han and Uyghurs who increasingly understand each other as threats.
Environmental degradation in China has not only brought a wider range of diseases and other health consequences than previously understood, it has also taken a heavy toll on Chinese society, the economy, and the legitimacy of the party-state. In Toxic Politics, Yanzhong Huang presents new evidence of China's deepening health crisis and challenges the widespread view that China is winning the war on pollution. Although government leaders are learning, stricter and more centralized policy enforcement measures have not been able to substantially reduce pollution or improve public health. Huang connects this failure to pathologies inherent in the institutional structure of the Chinese party-state, which embeds conflicting incentives for officials and limits the capacity of the state to deliver public goods. Toxic Politics reveals a political system that is remarkably resilient but fundamentally flawed. Huang examines the implications for China's future, both domestically and internationally.
Many scholars perceive ethnic politics in China as an untouchable topic due to lack of data and contentious, even prohibitive, politics. This book fills a gap in the literature, offering a historical-political perspective on China's contemporary ethnic conflict. Yan Sun accumulates research via field trips, local reports, and policy debates to reveal rare knowledge and findings. Her long-time causal chain of explanation reveals the roots of China's contemporary ethnic strife in the centralizing and ethnicizing strategies of its incomplete transition to a nation state—strategies that depart sharply from its historical patterns of diverse and indirect rule. This departure created the institutional dynamics for politicized identities and ethnic mobilization, particularly in the outer regions of Tibet and Xinjiang. In the 21st century, such factors as the demise of socialist tenets and institutions that upheld interethnic solidarity, and the rise of identity politics and developmentalism, have intensified these built-in tensions.
In China in 2018 over 200 million rural migrants worked away from their hometowns, fuelling the country's rapid economic boom. In the 2010s over sixty-one million rural children had at least one parent who had migrated without them, while nearly half had been left behind by both parents. Rachel Murphy draws on her longitudinal fieldwork in two landlocked provinces to explore the experiences of these left-behind children and to examine the impact of this great migration on childhood in China and on family relationships. Using children's voices, Murphy provides a multi-faceted insight into experiences of parental migration, study pressures, poverty, institutional discrimination, patrilineal family culture, and reconfigured gendered and intergenerational relationships.
Why has China grown so fast for so long despite vast corruption? In China's Gilded Age, Yuen Yuen Ang argues that not all types of corruption hurt growth, nor do they cause the same kind of harm. Ang unbundles corruption into four varieties: petty theft, grand theft, speed money, and access money. While the first three types impede growth, access money - elite exchanges of power and profit - cuts both ways: it stimulates investment and growth but produces serious risks for the economy and political system. Since market opening, corruption in China has evolved toward access money. Using a range of data sources, the author explains the evolution of Chinese corruption, how it differs from the West and other developing countries, and how Xi's anti-corruption campaign could affect growth and governance. In this formidable yet accessible book, Ang challenges one-dimensional measures of corruption. By unbundling the problem and adopting a comparative-historical lens, she reveals that the rise of capitalism was not accompanied by the eradication of corruption, but rather by its evolution from thuggery and theft to access money. In doing so, she changes the way we think about corruption and capitalism, not only in China but around the world.
What forces shaped the twentieth-century world? Capitalism and communism are usually seen as engaged in a fight-to-the-death during the Cold War. With the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949, the Chinese Communist Party aimed to end capitalism. Karl Gerth argues that despite the socialist rhetoric of class warfare and egalitarianism, Communist Party policies actually developed a variety of capitalism and expanded consumerism. This negated the goals of the Communist Revolution across the Mao era (1949–1976) down to the present. Through topics related to state attempts to manage what people began to desire - wristwatches and bicycles, films and fashion, leisure travel and Mao badges - Gerth challenges fundamental assumptions about capitalism, communism, and countries conventionally labeled as socialist. In so doing, his provocative history of China suggests how larger forces related to the desire for mass-produced consumer goods reshaped the twentieth-century world and remade people's lives.
The first two decades of the twenty-first century have witnessed a rise of populism and decline of public confidence in many of the formal institutions of democracy. This crisis of democracy has stimulated searches for alternative ways of understanding and enacting politics. Against this background, Tessa Morris-Suzuki explores the long history of informal everyday political action in the Japanese context. Despite its seemingly inflexible and monolithic formal political system, Japan has been the site of many fascinating small-scale experiments in 'informal life politics': grassroots do-it-yourself actions which seek not to lobby governments for change, but to change reality directly, from the bottom up. She explores this neglected history by examining an interlinked series of informal life politics experiments extending from the 1910s to the present day.
From 1998 to 2018, China had three political-economic crises, resulting in bureaucratic paralysis. It was at such junctures that China's leadership launched initiatives, like the Western Development Program, that mobilized state and market actors to expedite globalization and revive economic growth. In The Belt Road and Beyond, Min Ye reevaluates the common tendency to attribute China's Belt and Road to individual leaders' strategic ambitions, using state-mobilized globalization as a comparative framework and investigative tool to understand Chinese capitalism. State-mobilized globalization has helped sustain China's high-growth economy and social-political stability, while also sparking some political backlash. In order to succeed in globalization, the author argues, China's state mobilization must readapt to global circumstances. She sheds light on the tactics China used to spring from a crisis-stricken middle economy to a formidable global power, implicating not only China, but also the world.
This book provides an introduction to the legal system in Hong Kong. Understanding Hong Kong's legal system today requires both an understanding of the British origins of much of the laws and legal institutions as well as the uniquely Hong Kong developments in the application of the Basic Law under 'one country, two systems'. These features of the Hong Kong legal system are explored in this book, which takes into account developments in the two decades or so of the new legal framework in Hong Kong since the 1997 handover. In providing both an exposition of the legal institutions in Hong Kong and legal method under Hong Kong's legal system (including practical guidance and examples on case law, statutory interpretation and legal research), this book is ideal for first-year law students, students of other disciplines who study law and readers who have an interest in Hong Kong's unique legal system.
When and why do people obey political authority when it runs against their own interests to do so? This book is about the channels beyond direct repression through which China's authoritarian state controls protest and implements ambitious policies from sweeping urbanization schemes that have displaced millions to family planning initiatives like the one-child policy. Daniel C. Mattingly argues that China's remarkable state capacity is not simply a product of coercive institutions such as the secret police or the military. Instead, the state uses local civil society groups as hidden but effective tools of informal control to suppress dissent and implement far-reaching policies. Drawing on evidence from qualitative case studies, experiments, and national surveys, the book challenges the conventional wisdom that a robust civil society strengthens political responsiveness. Surprisingly, it is communities that lack strong civil society groups that find it easiest to act collectively and spontaneously resist the state.
Surprisingly little is known about what ancient Confucian thinkers struggled with in their own social and political contexts and how these struggles contributed to the establishment and further development of classical Confucian political theory. Leading scholar of comparative political theory, Sungmoon Kim offers a systematic philosophical account of the political theories of Mencius and Xunzi, investigating both their agreements and disagreements as the champions of the Confucian Way against the backdrop of the prevailing realpolitik of the late Warring States period. Together, they contributed to the formation of Confucian virtue politics, in which concerns about political order and stability and concerns about moral character and moral enhancement are deeply intertwined. By presenting their political philosophies in terms of constitutionalism, Kim shows how they each developed the ability to authorize the ruler's legitimate use of power in domestic and interstate politics in ways consistent with their distinctive accounts of human nature.
The sent-down youth movement, a Maoist project that relocated urban youth to remote rural areas for 're-education', is often viewed as a defining feature of China's Cultural Revolution and emblematic of the intense suffering and hardship of the period. Drawing on rich archival research focused on Shanghai's youth in village settlements in remote regions, this history of the movement pays particular attention to how it was informed by and affected the critical issue of urban-rural relations in the People's Republic of China. It highlights divisions, as well as connections, created by the movement, particularly the conflicts and collaborations between urban and rural officials. Instead of chronicling a story of victims of a monolithic state, Honig and Zhao show how participants in the movement - the sent-down youth, their parents, and local government officials - disregarded, circumvented, and manipulated state policy, ultimately undermining a decade-long Maoist project.
This book addresses the long-standing puzzle of how China's private sector manages to grow without secure property rights, and proposes a new theory of selective property rights to explain this phenomenon. Drawing on rich empirical evidence including in-depth interviews, a unique national survey of private entrepreneurs, two original national audit experiments and secondary sources, Professor Yue Hou shows that private entrepreneurs in China actively seek opportunities within formal institutions to advance their business interests. By securing seats in the local legislatures, entrepreneurs use their political capital to deter local officials from demanding bribes, ad hoc taxes, and other types of informal payments. In doing so they create a system of selective, individualized, and predictable property rights. This system of selective property rights is key to understanding the private sector growth in the absence of the rule of law.
Between 1989 and 1993, with the end of the Cold War, Tiananmen, and Deng Xiaoping's renewed reform, Chinese intellectuals said goodbye to radicalism. In newly-founded journals, interacting with those who had left mainland China around 1949 to revive Chinese culture from the margins, they now challenged the underlying creed of Chinese socialism and the May Fourth Movement that there was 'no making without breaking'. Realistic Revolution covers the major debates of this period on radicalism in history, culture, and politics from a transnational perspective, tracing intellectual exchanges as China repositioned itself in Asia and the world. In this realistic revolution, Chinese intellectuals paradoxically espoused conservatism in the service of future modernization. They also upheld rationalism and gradualism after Maoist utopia but concurrently rewrote history to re-establish morality. Finally, their self-identification as scholars was a response to rapid social change that nevertheless left their concern with China's fate unaltered.
Riots, strikes, and protests broke out in the streets of Shanghai and Bombay (renamed Mumbai in 1995), with impressive frequency during the twentieth century. Many of the landmark protests and social movements had close connections with the neighborhoods, workplaces, and civic space of each city. By the late twentieth century, as the political geography of each city changed rapidly with the commodification of urban land, so too did the patterns of political contention. Using a comparative historical lens, Frazier chronicles the political biographies of these two metropolises and leading centers of manufacturing and finance. Debates over ideology, citizenship, and political representation took material form through clashes over housing, jobs, police violence, public space, among much else, in the lived experience of urban residents. Frazier puts contemporary debates over informal housing, eviction of inner-city residents, scarcities of manufacturing jobs, and questions of unequal citizenship in an illuminating historical context.