East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society

April 28, 2015
by wxie
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May 5 Workshop

East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society Presents

 

“The Political Logic of Authoritarian Anticorruption: Theory and Evidence from China”

(Co-authored with Junyan Jiang)

Yan Xu

PhD Student, Department of Political Science

University of Chicago

 

4:30-6pm, Tuesday

May 5, 2015

Pick Lounge, 5828 South University Ave.

Abstract

Why do autocrats launch anticorruption campaigns when they have in part relied on the distribution of rents and privileges to sustain their rule? Under what circumstances do they intensify antigraft enforcement, and who do they target in those campaigns? We argue that anticorruption initiatives in authoritarian regimes can serve two functions that are crucial for political leaders’ survival: containing mass discontent from below and eliminating political challenges from within the ruling elites. Our theory predicts that (1) anticorruption enforcement in authoritarian regimes should intensify when the regime faces deficit in political legitimacy, and (2) autocrats would adopt a biased form of enforcement in which they protect officials in their own faction and target disproportionately at those that belong to their rivals’. We test our predictions using both aggregate data at the national level and a new dataset that contains the universe of leading Chinese officials at city and provincial levels between 2000 and 2012. We find that at the aggregate level anticorruption effort intensifies when the regime’s economic performance deteriorates. At the individual level, we find that clients of the incumbent power holders are significantly less likely to be investigated but, conditional on investigation, receive lengthier sentences. Those affiliated with the incumbents’ political rivals, however, are disproportionately targeted. The factional bias is more severe among those potential targets who are younger and more politically promising. Finally, we find that the recent anticorruption initiatives by Xi Jinping has led to a significant centralization of power within a smaller inner circle.

 

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

Student coordinator: Wen Xie (wxie@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 13, 2015
by wxie
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April 21 Workshop

East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society Presents

 

“From Bureaucrats To Politicians: Seikai-Tensin (政界転身)’s Political Success in Postwar Japan”

 

Nara Park

PhD Candidate, Department of Political Science

University of Chicago

 

4:30-6pm, Tuesday

April 21, 2015

Pick Lounge, 5828 South University Ave.

 

Abstract

In postwar Japan, Amakudari (天下り) has been institutionalized as a practice where a considerable number of retired top-level bureaucrats get to acquire high-profile positions in other sectors including private enterprises, public corporations, and the parliament. As such, the postwar Diet has consistently displayed the predominance of former bureaucrats within: namely, Seikai- Tensin (政界転身: one’s transformation into the political world) politicians. Among those who were elected in the 2012 general election, 81 representatives previously worked in the national government, which consists of 16.9% of the entire House. According to my preliminary studies, about 14.5 percent of Lower House Members – and presumably about the same proportion of the Upper House Members – have been classified as Seikai-Tensin politicians after World War II. In this study, I argue that, in Japan, being a former senior bureaucrat in the central government – likely also possessing superior educational background and personal connections – has been a crucial asset for those who desire to be a successful politician. Through an OLS regression analysis, I will show Seikai-Tensin politicians are likely to be elected to the Diet with higher levels of electoral support than those with no bureaucratic background, other things being equal.

All in all, this research will ultimately shed light on how a mature democracy like the Japanese one has been developed with the elite endorsed by people through elections, namely Seikai-Tensin politicians. This is an example of the modern elite leading the national policy making with a hard-earned status acquired by their own abilities and endeavors. Simply put, the transformation from one form of the elite into another (i.e., from the bureaucratic to political elite) goes through legitimate and democratic measures, rather than personalistic and hereditary practices. Eventually, this study will help us better understand the relationship between “the elite and democracy” and “elections and democracy.”

 

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

Student coordinator: Wen Xie (wxie@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 9, 2015
by wxie
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April 17 Workshop [Extra Session]

East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society Presents

 

“From the Chinese Work Unit to the Foxconn Factory: The Disappearing Spatial Advantage”

 

Duanfang Lu

Associate Professor, Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning

The University of Sydney, Australia

 

4:30-6pm, Friday

April 17, 2015

Social Sciences 302

Abstract

In 2010 a series of workplace suicides at Foxconn stirred profound concerns about Foxconn, a Taiwanese multinational electronics manufacturing company, as a global labor regime. A close look into the spatiality of Foxconn factories and associated facilities reveals some parallels between the work unit (danwei) – the socialist enterprise or institute – and the Foxconn factory. This talk offers a reading of changing urbanism and modernity in the context of China’s rapid urbanization through a comparative analysis of space and everyday life in the Foxconn factory and the work unit. Unlike existing studies on Foxconn focusing on labor issues, this study, drawing on fieldwork in Foxconn Kunshan, provides an alternative reading of Chinese urbanization by highlighting electronics factories as spaces of learning where rural migrant workers learn to be urban. It shows that such processes of urban learning are socio-spatially structured through unequal relations of resource and knowledge, which do not exist independently of the local, national and global power. With workers’ adoption of new social networking technologies in recent years, the advantage of carefully constructed spatial confines is in the process of disappearing.

 

Speaker:

Duanfang Lu is Associate Professor and Research Chair of Architectural History, Theory & Criticism in the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning at the University of Sydney, Australia. She was educated at Tsinghua University, Beijing and the University of California, Berkeley, and has extensive experience in architectural and urban design. She has published widely on modern architectural and planning history. Her main publications include Remaking Chinese Urban Form (2006, 2011) and Third World Modernism (2010). She is an Australian Research Council Future Fellow in 2012–2016.

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

Student coordinator: Wen Xie (wxie@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, 2015
by wxie
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April 7 Workshop

East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society Presents

 

“Friends with Benefits: Patronage Politics and Distributive Strategies in China”

 

Junyan Jiang

PhD Student, Department of Political Science

University of Chicago

 

4:30-6pm, Tuesday

April 7, 2015

Pick Lounge, 5828 South University Ave.

 

Abstract

We develop a theory of distributive politics for authoritarian regimes based on the incentives of individual politicians. We argue that in a system where power originates from informal patronage networks, aspiring politicians have an incentive to use state resources to aid the careers of lower-level officials who will become their future political allies. This incentive, however, is checked by the the presence of competing patrons who possess the power to sanction. We illustrate this tradeoff in a simple model and test the predictions using new fiscal and political biographic data from Chinese cities between 2001-2009 with a novel method that identifies patronage ties from past promotions. We find that patronage considerations by the provincial party secretary strongly shape how fiscal transfer is distributed within a province: All else equal a city with leaders promoted by the incumbent provincial secretary receives 4 to 6 percent more transfer than a city without. The degree of favoritism varies markedly with the political cycle, the expected value of the promotion and, most importantly, the relative power balance among patrons. Using both official statistics and data from satellite imagery, we further find that connected cities spend substantially more on infrastructure investments, partially through additional inflow of fiscal transfers.

 

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

Student coordinator: Wen Xie (wxie@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 2, 2015
by wxie
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Spring 2015 Schedule

EAST ASIA WORKSHOP: POLITICS, ECONOMY & SOCIETY

Spring 2015 Workshop Schedule

 

April 7

“Friends with Benefits: Patronage Politics and Distributive Strategies in China”

Junyan Jiang

PhD Student, Department of Political Science

The University of Chicago

April 17*

*Extra Session. 4:30-6pm. SS302*

“From the Chinese Work Unit to the Foxconn Factory: The Disappearing Spatial Advantage “

Duanfang Lu

Associate Professor, Department of Architecture, Design and Planning

The University of Sydney

April 21

“From Bureaucrats To Politicians: Seikai-Tensin (政界転身)’s Political Success in Postwar Japan”

Nara Park

PhD Candidate, Department of Political Science

The University of Chicago

May 5

“The Politics of Anticorruption in China”

Yan Xu

PhD Student, Department of Political Science

The University of Chicago

May 19

Special Session: Master Panel

Master Students

The University of Chicago

June 2

“When Socialism Meets Market: The Reconstruction of Economic Discourse in China”

Wen Xie

PhD Student, Department of Sociology

The University of Chicago

    The workshop meets on alternate Tuesdays 4:30-6pm at Pick Lounge, 5828 South University Avenue, unless otherwise specified (*). Abstracts are available on our website: http://cas.uchicago.edu/workshops/eastasia/. Questions and comments should be addressed to the coordinator Wen Xie: wxie@uchicago.edu

    

Faculty Sponsors:

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

Dingxin Zhao (Sociology), dzhao@uchicago.edu

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

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