Although contemporary China is a repressive state, protests and demonstrations have increased almost tenfold between 2005 and 2015. This is an astounding statistic when one considers that Marxist-Leninist regimes of the past tolerated little or no public dissent. How can protests become so common in an autocratic state? What are the trends of repression and mobilization? This collection helps to answer these compelling questions through in-depth analyses of several Chinese protest movements and state responses. The chapters examine the opportunities and constraints for protest mobilization and explains their importance for understanding contemporary Chinese society.
Hank Johnston is professor of sociology at San Diego State University and SDSU Global Research Professor 2021–2022. He is founding editor of Mobilization: An International Quarterly.
Sheldon X. Zhang is Professor in the School of Criminology and Justice Studies at the University of Massachusetts. He is currently serving as an expert consultant to several organizations such as the International Labor Organization, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Freedom Fund, and Walk Free Foundation.
Part I. The Landscape of Protest and Resistance in China
1. Nonviolent Protest in China: Repertories of Resistance and Repression, Hank Johnston and Sheldon Zhang
2. Popular Protests in China, 2000-2019, Chih-Jou Jay Chen
3. Repertoires of Resistance in a Three-Gorges-Dam Migrants’ Petitioning Campaign, Wing-Chung Ho
Part II. Political Opportunities and Constraints
4. Resistance and the Exclusion of Civic Activism, Xi Chen
5. Bureaucrat-Assisted Contention in China, Kevin J. O’Brien, Lianjiang Li and Mingxing Liu
6. Soft Repression and Protest Demobilization, Yue Xie
Part III. Environmental Protest
7. Mobilizing Environmental Protests in China, Setsuko Matsugawa
8. Brokering and Buffering Mechanisms: Participation in Environmental Protests, Yang Zhang
Part IV. Hong Kong
9. Hong Kong’s Anti-Extradition Movement Learned the Lesson of the Umbrella Movement, Ming-shou Ho
10. Hong Kong's Tiananmen Vigil: Collective Identity and Mechanisms of Memory, Edmund Cheng and Samson Yuen
Part V. Religion, Protest, and the State
11. The Public Transcript and the Rise and Shutdown of China’s Protestant ‘Urban Churches’, Carsten Vala
12. Religion and Participation in Protest Movements, Chengzhi Yi, Geping Qiu and Tao Liang
This timely volume provides us with a detailed overview of the changing landscape of social contention in China. As the book makes clear, after a surge that started in the 1990s and peaked in 2014, protest has declined under Xi Jinping’s increasingly repressive watch. The individual chapters present both a systematic assessment of the development and characteristics of rural and urban protest in China during this period and a set of fascinating accounts of the multi-faceted contentious politics under China’s techno-authoritarian regime— from the petitioning tactics of forced three-gorges-dam migrants to bureaucrat-assisted contention and the extraordinary tenacity of Hongkong’s anti-extradition movement.
Despite intensified repression and tough control by the Chinese State, protests and demonstrations have increased almost tenfold between 2005 and 2015 (2010 had almost 230,000 protests!).This is an astounding statistic when one considers that Marxist-Leninist regimes of the past tolerated little or no public dissent. How and why can protests become more common as the state becomes more repressive? This book helps to answer this compelling question through in-depth case study and analyses of several Chinese protest movements and state responses. The chapters examine the opportunities and constraints for protest mobilization and explains their importance for understanding contemporary Chinese society. It is valuable material for graduate courses and the research community.
Protest and Resistancein the Chinese Party State provides a long overdue update on the state of contentious politics in China. Drawing from social movement theory and leavened by China-specific events and circumstances, the chapters in this volume provide a rich array of conceptual lenses and analytical approaches to understanding mobilization and protest in China up to and including the Xi Jinping era. The volume helps us appreciate the changes wrought—and continuities preserved—in the era of high tech surveillance and increased political illiberalism in China and within the international authoritarian turn more broadly.