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Handbook of Protest and Resistance in China

Edited by Teresa Wright, Chair & Professor, Department of Political Science, California State University, Long Beach, US
Featuring contributions from top scholars and emerging stars in the field, the Handbook of Protest and Resistance in China captures the complexity of protest and dissent in contemporary China, while simultaneously exploring a number of unifying themes. Examining how, when, and why individuals and groups have engaged in contentious acts, and how the targets of their complaints have responded, the volume sheds light on the stability of China’s existing political system, and its likely future trajectory.
Extent: c 480 pp
Hardback Price: $270.00 Web: $243.00
Publication Date: June 2019
ISBN: 978 1 78643 377 0
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  • eISBN: 978 1 78643 378 7

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  • Asian Studies
  • Asian Politics and Policy
  • Politics and Public Policy
  • Asian Politics
  • Human Rights
Chinese citizens are far from docile, and regularly and vociferously rise up in collective protest. In some cases they have successfully applied pressure, forcing political and economic elites to satisfy their demands. In others, they have been brutally suppressed. More often than not, however, the results have been mixed. This Handbook explores individual and collective acts of protest and resistance in China since 1989, examining their key unifying underlying themes and their effect on relations between the government and society.

Featuring twenty-nine chapters of original research from top scholars, this Handbook spans the broad range of protest and resistance in contemporary China. Its coverage of popular contention related to labour, land, the environment, nationalism, home ownership, information and communication technologies, the law, religion, Hong Kong and ethnic minority groups illuminates the complexity and diversity of citizen actions. The Handbook of Protest and Resistance in China suggests that while these protests and acts of resistance might threaten the ruling Chinese Communist Party, in order to strengthen and legitimise the Party’s rule governing authorities’ best course of action may be to allow space for citizens to air their grievances, and to prioritise the resolution of complaints.

This Handbook will be an invaluable resource for scholars and graduate students of Chinese and comparative politics, as well as for policy makers and interested readers seeking up to date data on protest and resistance in China, and to better understand the problems and perspectives of Chinese citizens.
‘This collection is the most comprehensive study on various forms of popular contention by different groups in contemporary China. By analysing group-specific action, varied government response and the effect of contention, this book coherently and convincingly explains the political rationale for the coexistence of popular contention and regime stability in an authoritarian state that has been undergoing significant political and socio-economic changes. This collection makes important contributions to the understanding of contentious politics, political participation, and state-society relations in contemporary China.’
– Yongshun Cai , Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

'Made up of chapters by an appealing mix of well established and more junior scholars, this volume brings together in one place illuminating work on the widely varied forms that protest and resistance have been taking across the People's Republic of China – and continue to take even in a time of ratcheted up controls. As different as the sources of discontent and styles of agitation are in disparate parts of the country and among disparate groups, something is lost when varied struggles are considered only in isolation. Wright's carefully put together and very effectively introduced Handbook show how much we can learn from placing side-by-side actions as varied as petition drives and marches occurring in settings as dissimilar as Hong Kong and Hunan.'
– Jeffrey Wasserstrom, University of California, Irvine, US

'No book on popular contention in China covers this much territory. All the important social groups are here as well as every conceivable type of resistance. This Handbook will provide a "one-stop shopping" for students of Chinese protest and repression for years to come.'
– Kevin J. O'Brien, University of California, Berkeley, US

Contributors include: B. Alpermann, M. Bondes, C. Cairns, J. Chan, T. Cliff, M. Elfstrom, H. Fu, C. Goebel, S. Grano, L. Guang, R. Han, J.V. Hastings, C. Heurlin, J. Liu, S. McCarthy, J.Y.M. Nip, U. Otede, D. Pan, D. Pavlićević, S. Pepper, E. Pils, P. Potter, M.-E. Reny, M. Selden, Z. Sheng, H.C. Steinhardt, Y. Su, L. Sun, C. Vala, Z. Wang, A. Wedeman, N.W.M. Wong, S. Woodman, T. Wright, L. Zhang, Y. Zhang
Contents:

Introduction
Teresa Wright

Part I Overviews
1. Unrest and regime survival
Andrew Wedeman

2. Social unrest in China: a bird’s eye view
Christian Goebel

Part II Protest, dissent, and the law
3. Governing political expression: legitimacy and legal culture
Pitman Potter

4. Legal advocacy as liberal resistance: the experience of China’s human rights lawyers
Eva Pils

5. Mass disputes and China’s legal system
Hualing Fu

6. Dissent below the radar: contention in the daily politics of grassroots organizations
Sophia Woodman

Part III Urban labor
7. Labor legislation, workers, and the Chinese state
Jenny Chan and Mark Selden

8. Worker protests and state response in present-day China: trends, characteristics, and new developments, 2011-2016
Lu Zhang

9. China’s contentious cab drivers
Manfred Elfstrom

10. Thinking like a state: doing labor activism in South China
Darcy Pan

Part IV Rural residents
11. Collective petitions and local state responses in rural China
Lei Guang and Yang Su

12. Land protests in rural China
Christopher Heurlin

Part V Urban homeowners
13. Homeowners’ rights protection actions in China: why some succeed and others fail
Zhiming Sheng

14. Homeowners' activism in urban China: old goals, new strategies
Dragan Pavlićević, Long Sun, and Zhengxu Wang

Part VI Environmental protest
15. Environmental public interest campaigns: a new phenomenon in China’s contentious politics
H. Christoph Steinhardt

16. Networked contention against waste incinerators in China: brokers, linkages and dynamics of diffusion
Björn Alpermann and Maria Bondes

17. Possibilities for environmental governance in China? Anti-incinerator activists turned participants in municipal waste management in Guangzhou
Natalie W.M. Wong

18. Anti-nuclear protest in China
Simona Grano and Yuheng Zhang

Part VII Religion
19. Religious charity, repurposing, and “claim-staking” resistance: the case of Gospel Rehab
Susan McCarthy

20. Informality as Resistance among Catholics and Protestants in China
Marie-Eve Reny

21. Protestant resistance and activism in China’s official churches
Carsten Vala

Part VIII Information and communications technologies
22. From mobilization to legitimation: Digital media and the evolving repertoire of contention in contemporary China
Jun Liu

23. Patriotism without state blessing: Chinese cyber nationalists in a predicament
Rongbin Han

24. Microblog dissent and censorship during the 2012 Bo Xilai scandal
Christopher Cairns

Part IX Hong Kong
25. Hong Kong’s struggle to define its political future
Suzanne Pepper

26. Dissenting media: post-1997 Hong Kong
Joyce Y.M. Nip

Part X Ethnic minorities
27. The environmental protest movement in Inner Mongolia
Uchralt Otede

28. Ethnic unrest and China’s multiple problematic others
Tom Cliff

29. More creative, more international: shifts in Uyghur-related violence
Justin V. Hastings

Index