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Collective Action in China

Level
Semester
Spring 2024
Instructor(s)
Units
4
Section
1
Number
244D
CCN
33232
Times
Wed 12-2pm
Location
SOCS202
Course Description

Much political behavior, particularly in countries such as China, does not take place within institutionalized channels.  This is partly because the Party/State aggregates preferences poorly and the popular classes often become frustrated with existing opportunities for participation.  Moreover, honest elections occur only at the lowest levels -- if at all -- and many forms of political activity are forbidden.  In these circumstances, how do ordinary Chinese press for attention to their grievances and for a modicum of responsiveness?  And how do the authorities respond to popular activism, whether it appears on the streets or online?  In this seminar, we will read recently published books and articles that bring to light ongoing debates and emerging topics in the literature on protest and repression. We will pay particular attention to issues prominent in the Xi Jinping era, including COVID lockdowns and protest; digital activism, repression and surveillance; and the outsourcing of repression. Efforts will also be made to introduce students to new methods, such as protest event analysis, and the application of social movement concepts, including emotions, protest leadership, and mobilizing structures and protest diffusion, to the China case.  Finally, we will examine how protest unfolds in two social groups: workers and veterans.