East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society

May 30, In Hyee Hwang, “Perceived Threat and Welfare Distribution in Rural China”


East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society presents

 Perceived Threat and Welfare Distribution in Rural China”

In Hyee Hwang
PhD candidate, Department of Political Science
University of Chicago
4:30-6:00 p.m., Tuesday, May 30, 2017
Pick Lounge, 5828 South University Ave.
*Light refreshments will be served*
During the past decade, China has experienced an expansion of social welfare benefits in the absence of political reform. However, despite the rapid development of social welfare policies, access to such welfare benefits still vary widely between, as well as within provinces in China. What explains this disparity in the provision of welfare benefits? Who receives benefits to welfare, when, and how in China? 
Existing theories on welfare state development have focused on the effects of industrialism, democratization, class struggle, and varieties of capitalism. However, I argue that the Chinese Communist Party has implemented specific social policies against perceived threats in order to secure regime stability and survival. I test this argument by using 2008 individual-level survey data on land expropriation and in-depth interviews of local officials, village cadres, land developers, and villagers. I find that the expansion of rural pension benefits is closely associated with the local governments’ perception of threat to social stability. In close-knit rural areas with high levels of interpersonal exchange, the perception of threat depends on the target of the collective action more than its magnitude; to whom public demands were made affects perceptions of threat more than the number of participants involved in collective claim-making. Individuals in communities with a history of collective incidents are also more likely to receive pension benefits. 
About the Speaker
In Hyee Hwang is a PhD Candidate in the Political Science Department at the University of Chicago. Her research interests focus on welfare state development, authoritarian redistribution, and comparative studies on East Asian Politics.
*To learn more about the workshop and see the full Spring 2017 schedule, please visit: Spring Schedule
Faculty sponsors:
Xi Song (Sociology),  Dali Yang (Political Science),  and Dingxin Zhao (Sociology)

The East Asia Workshop is sponsored by 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.

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