May 4 Workshop

Workshop on East Asia:
Politics, Economy and Society Presents

“From ‘Territorial’ Segregation to ‘Regional’ Segregation: The Transformation of Inner Mongolia Frontier and the 1911 Revolutionary Crisis”

Liping Wang
Doctoral Candidate, Department of Sociology
University of Chicago

4:00-5:30pm, Tuesday
May 4, 2010
Pick Lounge
5828 South University Ave.

Workshop website: http://lucian.uchicago.edu/blogs/eastasia/
Student coordinator: Jean Lin (jeanlin@uchicago.edu)
Faculty sponsors: Dali Yang, Cheol-sung Lee, Dingxin Zhao
The workshop is sponsored by the Center for East Asian Studies and the Council on Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences. Persons with disabilities who believe they may need assistance, please contact the student coordinator in advance.

Abstract:
This presentation is built upon two chapters of my
dissertation. It is guided by the puzzling question: Why
despite the dethronement of the Manchu emperor as well as
the declared independence of the Outer Mongolia over the
1911 revolution, was the Inner Mongolia frontier not split
from the new Chinese Republic? To answer this question, my
presentation first analyzes the nature of the 1911
revolution, giving particular discussion on how to pin down
the “ethnic” character of the revolution. Then my
presentation moves to the eventful analysis of the Inner
Mongolia frontier during the revolution. By using the
archives from the Department of Mongolian and Tibetan
Affairs (Mengzangyuan), I delineate how the Inner Mongolia
frontier was actually involved in the political anarchy
created by the revolution, even though a direct attack from
the revolutionaries was insignificant. In this part, I pay
most attention to the structural transformation of Inner
Mongolia frontier since the New Policy reform, which I call
the transformation from “territorial” segregation
to “regional” segregation. I argue this structural change is
indispensible for us to understand the specific choices and
negotiations made between the frontier military officials,
the Mongol nobles and the central government over the
revolutionary crisis. And therefore it is crucially
important for the explanation of the stability of Inner
Mongolia frontier during a tumultuous revolutionary crisis.

April 27 Special Session (LOCATION CHANGE)

Workshop on East Asia:
Politics, Economy and Society Presents

“Chinese Wenchuan Earthquake and American Hurricane Katrina: A Comparative Perspective”

King Kwun Tsao
Associate Professor, Department of Government and Public Administration
Chinese University of Hong Kong

4:00-5:30pm, Tuesday
Special Session: April 27, 2010
Center for East Asian Studies, Judd 302
5835 S. Kimbark Avenue

Workshop website: http://lucian.uchicago.edu/blogs/eastasia/
Student coordinator: Jean Lin (jeanlin@uchicago.edu)
Faculty sponsors: Dali Yang, Cheol-sung Lee, Dingxin Zhao
The workshop is sponsored by the Center for East Asian Studies and the Council on Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences. Persons with disabilities who believe they may need assistance, please contact the student coordinator in advance.

Abstract
Disaster crisis management needs speedy and coordinated efforts to marshal all the available resources to reduce losses in lives, property and disruption, along with lessening pains and ills of those involved and subsequently launching reconstruction and rehabilitation. It is a global problem that affects every nation. However, some countries may handle and manage it without having that much criticism, while others face mounting difficulties. This talk attempts to answer the following questions: What are the conceptual variables that attribute to the success or failure of disaster management? What can we learn from the cases of natural disasters which are handled differently by different countries? Are there any particular lessons we can learn from each other? What matters most, if any, in lessening or even preventing the disastrous impacts of these natural disasters? I will use two cases, namely the Chinese Wenchuan Earthquake on May 12, 2008 and the United States Hurricane Katrina of 2005, to present the comparative perspective. By using and focusing on the administrative, institutional and policy responses towards these two cases, one can find some similarities as well as differences—-though these two nations differ tremendously politically and economically.

Specifically, the talk will be divided into four parts. Part one will outline the responses and the efforts of public emergencies preparedness initiated by the Chinese government before the Earthquake. Part two will document the American responses, primarily at the federal level, towards Hurricane Katrina. The third part will compare and contrast these two cases, and identify some variables such as leadership and timing, among others, that work for both cases. In the last part of the talk, I will offer some lessons that can be learnt from this perspective to wrap up this presentation.

April 20

Workshop on East Asia:
Politics, Economy and Society Presents

“Who’s in Charge of China’s Villages? Explaining Patterns of Authority in Rural Governance”

Travis Warner
Doctoral Student, Department of Political Science,
University of Chicago

4:00-5:30pm, Tuesday
April 20, 2010
Pick Lounge
5828 South University Ave.

Workshop website: http://lucian.uchicago.edu/blogs/eastasia/
Student coordinator: Jean Lin (jeanlin@uchicago.edu)
Faculty sponsors: Dali Yang, Cheol-sung Lee, Dingxin Zhao
The workshop is sponsored by the Center for East Asian Studies and the Council on Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences. Persons with disabilities who believe they may need assistance, please contact the student coordinator in advance.

Abstract:
A “dual-power structure” governs the Chinese countryside.
Village branches of the Chinese Communist Party, traditionally
the centers of power in their communities, increasingly share
their authority with elected village committees. We seek to
illuminate the factors contributing to the division of
authority between these “two committees.” For the purposes of
hypothesis testing, we view party branches and village
committees as the agents of two distinct principals. Party
branches generally derive their authority from township
governments, while village committees tend to derive theirs
from the village residents who elect them. In general, we
predict that the division of authority between the two
committees varies with A) the relative levels of activism
exhibited by the principals, and B) the perceived legitimacy
of the agents, as determined by their method of selection.
Drawing on our own fieldwork and a unique dataset, we test
four hypotheses derived from this framework. Our findings
should contribute to observers’ understanding of the “exercise
of power” in China’s villages.

Apr. 6 Workshop

Workshop on East Asia:
Politics, Economy and Society Presents

“Understanding the Nujiang Anti-Dam Activism in China—A Grassrooted Metropolitan Environmental Movement”

Hang Zhou
Visiting PhD Candidate, Department of Applied Social Sciences,
Hong Kong Polytechnic University

4:00-5:30pm, Tuesday
April 6, 2010
Pick Lounge
5828 South University Ave.

Workshop website: http://lucian.uchicago.edu/blogs/eastasia/
Student coordinator: Jean Lin (jeanlin@uchicago.edu)
Faculty sponsors: Dali Yang, Cheol-sung Lee, Dingxin Zhao
The workshop is sponsored by the Center for East Asian Studies and the Council on Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences. Persons with disabilities who believe they may need assistance, please contact the student coordinator in advance.

Abstract:
Understanding the Nujiang Anti-dam Activism in China—A Grass rooted Metropolitan Environmental Movement
The Nu River (or Nujiang) roars out of the Tibetan plateaus east of the Himalayas and surges forward between Gaoligong Mountain and Biluo Mountain in China’s Yunnan province with a total length of 2816 Kilometers and a drainage area of 324000 square kilometers. The mighty Nu plunges through steep canyons inside the border with Burma and finally empties into the Andaman Sea of Indian. In 2003, along with two other grand rivers in Yunnan province, the Lancang River and Jinshan River, it has been awarded “Three Parallel River World Heritage Site” by UNESCO. The magnificent scenery of Nu River can be developed into ecological tourism and international drift adventure site. However such natural beauty will be at risk of disappearing due to the construction of thirteen cascade hydroelectric dams. According to this development scheme of China Huadian corporation the Grand Gorge of the Orient will degrade into static reservoirs and be deprived of conditions for ecological tourism. Besides, due to geological disaster induced by the project, the accumulation of sediment in the reservoir will cause irrevocable destroy.

The Attempt to save the Nujiang as a primitive river develops into efforts to channel the grievance of dam-affected immigrants by some Chinese metropolitan-based environmental NGOs in the seven years environmental campaign. In the process of contention, many issues have been raised in terms of conservation of biodiversity and ethnical cultural traditions, resettlement of dam immigrants, safety of dam-building in geological instable area, expansion of highly-polluted industries due to hydropower development. This case study intends to address the following puzzles: does the saving Nujiang campaign signify a more pluralization political process in China? Is it a new strategy for Chinese collective action impasse? How Chinese ENGOs cross the obstacles of self-restraining and how Chinese grass root society to integrate beyond the trend of being fragmented.

I argue that this movement is more like a metropolitan environmental movement with the battlefield in the remote frontiers facilitated by an appropriate political opportunity. The framing that environmental activists applied fits the central government vision of “scientific development” and echoes the villagers’ concern for resettlement, land taking and compensation, nonetheless, these framings contradicts sharply with what the local government advocates. In their eyes, hydropower development is the only option that brings Nujiang autonomous prefecture out of poverty and backwardness. What is the best balancing point between economic growth and environment protection in contemporary China maybe debatable, however, the fight between the public interest representative like citizenry and ENGO and advantaged interest group is becoming visible. It is still too early to conclude which part wins.