May 3 Workshop

Workshop on East Asia:
Politics, Economy and Society Presents

“Invest for Advancement: Political Incentives and Investment Growth in Post-Reform China”

Xin Sun
Doctoral Student, Department of Political, Northwestern University
4:30-5:50pm, Tuesday
May 3, 2011
Pick Lounge
5828 South University Ave.

Workshop website: http://cas.uchicago.edu/workshops/eastasia/
Student coordinator: Jean Lin (jeanlin@uchicago.edu)
Faculty sponsors: Dali Yang and 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:
The post-reform era of China has witnessed an unprecedented growth of investment in the economy. This paper provides a political explanation to this phenomenon with a focus on local officials’ incentive to obtain advancement in the party hierarchy. We argue that, compared with those who have little chance of being promoted to higher positions, officials with more promising political future tend to more actively pursue local investment projects. Moreover, advancement-induced investment behaviors are moderated by 1) the degree of local fiscal autonomy and 2) the importance of non-economic policy imperatives facing the local government. Utilizing a panel data covering 28 Chinese provinces during the period of 1992-2008, this paper conducts a systematic empirical analysis to test these theoretical arguments. One implication of these findings is that the political competition among local officials may motivate the latter to spend fiscal and other public resources on the construction of various kinds of investment projects, rather than to improve the quality of local governance and to provide a friendly business environment as previous studies tend to claim.

April 19 Workshop

Workshop on East Asia:
Politics, Economy and Society Presents

“Territorialization and Mongolian Ethnic Formation in Hulun Buir, 1900-1917”

Liping Wang
Doctoral Candidate, Department of Sociology, University of Chicago
4:30-5:50pm, Tuesday
April 19, 2011
Pick Lounge
5828 South University Ave.

Workshop website: http://cas.uchicago.edu/workshops/eastasia/
Student coordinator: Jean Lin (jeanlin@uchicago.edu)
Faculty sponsors: Dali Yang and 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:
In this chapter, I examine why and how a territorial-based Mongolian identity came into shape in the early 20th century in Hulun Buir, a peripheral land conventionally dominated by mosaic tribal forces enrolled in Manchu garrisons. I delineate two historical paths: one led to the territorialization of Hulun Buir– which was once sparsely dotted by the garrison town and frontier guard posts—under both Russian and Chinese initiatives since the mid-19th century; the other led to the erasure of tribal differences and the propagation of a broader Mongolian identity among native soldiers after the military reform (1900-1911). These two processes occurred in different contexts, somehow interrelated, but eventually converged in the peace negotiation (1914-1917) arranged after Hulun Buir independence in 1912. The convergence of these two processes for the first time inscribed the Mongolian territorial right of Hulun Buir natives and propelled the formation of a territorial-based Mongolian identity among former tribal soldiers. I argue that long-term transmutations in Sino-Russian geopolitical relationship to a large extent made all these changes possible.
My study disaggregates two historical processes—ethnic group formation and territorial identification—which are rarely separated in mainstream theories of nationalism and ethnic formation. I explain why in reality these two processes do not necessarily cohere– ethnic group formation does not seamlessly coalesce with the process of territorial identification. Instead, one process could precede/ succeed the other and they could take separate routes, contradict or converge.

Spring 2011 Schedule

EAST ASIA WORKSHOP: POLITICS, ECONOMY & SOCIETY
Spring 2011 Workshop Schedule
April 5
“The Ambivalence of Modernity: Body Discipline in Early Tsinghua College, 1911-1928”
Chen Chen
Doctoral Student, Anthropology, University of Chicago
April 19
“Territorialization, Military Reorganization and Mongolian Nationalism in Hulun Buir, 1900-1930”
Liping Wang
Doctoral Candidate, Sociology, University of Chicago
May 3
“Invest for Advancement: Political Incentives and Investment Growth in Post-Reform China”
Xin Sun
Doctoral Student, Political Science, Northwestern University
May 17
“Recasting the State: Feminist Trajectories in India and China”
Professor Dongxiao Liu
Assistant Professor, Sociology, Texas A&M University
May 31
“The Growing Impact of the CCP as an Organization in the Chinese Communist Revolution”
Jin Xu
Doctoral Candidate, Sociology, University of Chicago

The workshop meets on alternative Tuesdays 4:30-5:50pm at Pick Lounge, 5828 South University Avenue. Papers or abstracts are typically available on our website http://cas.uchicago.edu/workshops/eastasia/ .
Questions and comments should be directly addressed to the coordinator Jean Lin jeanlin@uchicago.edu.

Faculty Sponsors
Dali Yang (Political Science) daliyang@uchicago.edu
Dingxin Zhao, (Sociology), dzhao@uchicago.edu

April 5

Workshop on East Asia:
Politics, Economy and Society Presents

“The Ambivalence of Modernity: Body Discipline in Early Tsinghua College (1911-1928)”

Chen Chen
Doctoral Student, Department of Anthropology, University of Chicago
4:30-5:50pm, Tuesday
April 5, 2011
Pick Lounge
5828 South University Ave.

Workshop website: http://cas.uchicago.edu/workshops/eastasia/
Student coordinator: Jean Lin (jeanlin@uchicago.edu)
Faculty sponsors: Dali Yang and 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: Supported by America’s returned indemnity funds, Tsinghua College was established to educate a generation of Chinese elites in the hope that they would embraced the cultural ideals of western modernity and develop a friendly attitude towards American Open Door policies. Discipline, I argue, was an important mechanism for inscribing ideals like rationality, civility, hygiene and efficiency onto the bodies of Tsinghua students. Discipline colonized space and time at Tsinghua, introducing a structured timetable to regulate daily the routines of students according to clock time and transforming a space of national humiliation into a modern disciplinary institution. The disciplinary space and time, however, never ceased taking on hybrid forms and evoking students’ self-contradictory feeling towards colonization and modernity. Ironically, Tsinghua students internalized disciplinary order. They perceived self-discipline as a type of Confucian self-cultivation and as a means to increase their chances of survival in international and interracial competition. This hybrid body discourse on self-discipline and self-governance revealed students’ ambivalent political subjectivity: on the one hand, they imagined their “modernized” bodies to be models for other “unenlightened” Chinese individuals. On the other hand, they were aware of their identity as the subjects to the superior West. The cultural politics of students’ resistance, however, were trapped in the discourses of Chinese modernity, full of contradictions, heterogeneities and ambivalences.