East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society

April 6, 2013
by lelin2010

April 9 Workshop

A Theory of Protest Leadership:

Elites and the Mass in Workers’ Resistance in China


Xi Chen

Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill


4:30-6pm, Tuesday

April 9, 2013

Pick Lounge, 5828 South University Ave.



    During the industrial restructuring in China since the 1990s, tens of millions of workers and pensioners in state-owned enterprises suffered from massive lay-offs and pension arrears. While they have become one of the most combative social groups in China, their collective protests have seldom been effective. This paper investigates a fundamental barrier to their collective action – the vulnerability of the relationship between protest leaders and rank-and-file workers. The motivations of protest leaders played a central role in sustaining collective action, but their special interest can raise other workers’ suspicion especially when local authorities have tried to buy off the leaders. The decline of community life in restructured enterprises has also reduced social capital, and exacerbated workers’ mistrust of protest leaders. The paper thus sheds light on how government co-optation and a transformed urban space have shaped and constrained popular collective action in China.


Workshop website: http://cas.uchicago.edu/workshops/eastasia/

Student coordinator: Le Lin (lelin2010@uchicago.edu)

Faculty sponsors: Dali Yang, Dingxin Zhao and Zheng Michael Song

This presentation is sponsored by the Council on Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences and Center for East Asian Studies. Persons with disabilities who believe they may need assistance please contact the student coordinator in advance.

April 6, 2013
by lelin2010

Spring 2013 Schedule

Except for May 28, the workshop meets on alternate Tuesdays 4:00-5:30pm at Pick Lounge

April 9 (starts at 4:30pm)

“A Theory of Protest Leadership: Elites and the Mass in Workers’ Resistance in China”

 Xi Chen

 Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science

 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

April 23

“The Politics of ‘Compliant Defiance’ in China”

 Marie-Eve Reny

 Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Political Science

 University of Chicago

May 7

“US-China Business Relations in an Era of New Leadership”

Doug Guthrie

Dean, Professor of Management and International Business

George Washington University School of Business

May 21

“What Make a Judicial Decision Convincing: Experimental Evidence of Authority, Bias and Reasoning from China”

Zhuang Liu

LLM Candidate, University of Chicago Law School

PhD Candidate, Peking University Law School

May 28

“From Revolutionary Secrete Society to State:

An Analytical Framework to Explain the Dynamics in Chinese Communist Revolution”

Jin Xu

PhD Student, Department of Sociology

University of Chicago

    The workshop meets on alternate Tuesdays 4:00-5:30pm at Pick Lounge, 5828 South University Avenue. Abstracts are available on our website: http://cas.uchicago.edu/workshops/eastasia/. Questions and comments should be addressed to the coordinator Le Lin: lelin2010@uchicago.edu

    Faculty Sponsors:

    Dali Yang (Political Science), daliyang@uchicago.edu

Dingxin Zhao (Sociology), dzhao@uchicago.edu

Zheng Michael Song (BoothSchool of Business), Zheng.Song@chicagobooth.edu