East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society

October 31, 2018
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Nov 7, Yinxian Zhang | “Understanding Chinese Opinion Leaders’ Political Stances: What Does Democracy Mean in China?”

 

EAST ASIA WORKSHOP: POLITICS, ECONOMY & SOCIETY

 

 

“Understanding Chinese Opinion Leaders’

Political Stances: What Does Democracy Mean in China?”

 

Yinxian Zhang

PhD Candidate, UChicago Sociology

Nov 7, Wed 12:00-1:30 pm

Pick Lounge, 5828 South University Ave.

Pizza will be provided

 

Abstract

How would China’s public sphere function if China were democratized as it currently stands? This paper investigates the political values of Chinese opinion leaders, particularly their perceptions of liberal democracy, as they are the major players in the Chinese public sphere. I examine the variation in opinion leader perceptions and explore its implications for the potential cleavages in the political development of China. Combining computational methods and qualitative analysis, I examine a large-scale dataset of 4 million users’ social network ties and 1.28 million social media posts. I find that opinion leaders diverged between a pro-democracy pro-reform ideology and an anti-democracy nationalist/Maoist ideology. However, the pro-democracy ideology was the dominant value embraced by up to three fourths of the opinion leaders, and it effectively constrained the conservative and authoritarian values. As a result, nationalist and Maoist ideologies were subject to a legitimacy crisis. Moreover, even among the pro-democracy opinion leaders, people had different perceptions of liberal democracy, particularly about whether democracy should be pursued as an end in itself, or as a means to other public goods. If China were democratized today, we could expect to see political cleavages arise from such variation in people’s agendas and priorities.

 

* Subscribe  to our workshop mailing-list at: https://lists.uchicago.edu/web/info/east-asia

* Abstract or description of each presentation will be posted on our website: http://cas.uchicago.edu/workshops/eastasia

* Questions and comments can be addressed to the student coordinators Jongyoon Baik: baikjongyoon@uchicago.edu and Ji Xue: jixue@uchicago.edu

*Persons with disabilities who believe they may need assistance please contact the student coordinators in advance.

The East Asia Workshop is sponsored by the Council on Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences.

October 26, 2018
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Oct 31, MA session | Fangzhu Lu, Lingnan He, and Chengzuo Tang

EAST ASIA WORKSHOP: POLITICS, ECONOMY & SOCIETY

MA Session

“Interplay between Online Media and Environmental Protest in Rural China: 

Case Studies Based on Cancer Villages.”

Fangzhu Lu

 

“The Pattern of Political Trust and Redistributive Preferences:

Theory and Evidence from the Chinese Context”

Lingnan He

 

“Beyond the Patron-Client Relationship: Private Entrepreneur’s 

Political Entitlement and Elastic Capitalism in Post-socialist China”

Chengzuo Tang

Oct 31, Wed 12:00-1:30 pm

Pick Lounge, 5828 South University Ave.

Pizza will be provided

Abstracts

Fangzhu Lu:

China’s meteoric rise on the global economic stage has garnered the attention of both domestic and overseas media. So, too, have the serious and worrying environmental pollution rises. It is commonly believed that the increase of cancer cases in Chinese rural areas has a strong relationship with the deterioration of local environment, especially the industrial pollution. However, figuring out the environmental causes of cancer victims has been a long and difficult process, and the available evidence whether villagers’ cancer are results of the exposure to local environmental pollutants is not that easy to collect. Based on a documentary review of selected online news reports and news comments during the past 8 years, this paper aims to study the interactions between the online media activism, environmental governance and environmental collective actions based on case studies of cancer villages.

Lingnan He:

Despite the existence of a large body of theoretical literature on political trust, empirical work has failed to reach a consensus on its implications for individual attitudes toward redistribution. In this paper, I propose and test a number of hypotheses on the relationship between political trust and preferences for redistribution in the context of contemporary China. First, in authoritarian contexts, diffuse trust—i.e., trust directed at the overall governmental system—and specific trust—i.e., trust regarding particular policy outcomes—should have opposing effects on an individual’s observed preference for redistribution. Specifically, the former should be associated with reduced preference for redistribution, and the latter should be positively associated with the preference for redistribution. Second, uniform trusters and uniform distrusters—individuals who demonstrate either indiscriminately high or low levels of trust towards political institutions and policies—should generally exhibit a lower preference for governmental redistribution efforts compared to other citizens. Evidence from the WVS and the CGSS offers initial support for these predictions.

Chengzuo Tang:

The existing literature has frequently claimed, in the capitalist transformation of socialist regime, the market success of private entrepreneur largely relies on the political connection to bureaucratic power—especially through its dominant form of the “patron-client” relationship between individual businessman and official. However, what if the private entrepreneur transcends the state-market boundary, and attains the institutional authority in the formal policymaking domain? By addressing China’s distinctive experience of capitalist transformation among the major post-socialist regimes,

this research project illustrates the empirical foundation as well as discusses the theoretical implication of the rising economic elite’s political entitlement in the formal institution. With the analytical focus on how the private entrepreneur might venture to organize strategically and act collectively in the institutional process for commercial ends, the original concept of the “elastic capitalism” is particularly contended as a theoretical alternative.

* Subscribe  to our workshop mailing-list at: https://lists.uchicago.edu/web/info/east-asia

* Abstract or description of each presentation will be posted on our website: http://cas.uchicago.edu/workshops/eastasia

* Questions and comments can be addressed to the student coordinators Jongyoon Baik: baikjongyoon@uchicago.edu and Ji Xue: jixue@uchicago.edu

*Persons with disabilities who believe they may need assistance please contact the student coordinators in advance.

*Faculty Sponsors: Xi Song (Sociology), xisong@uchicago.edu; Dali Yang (Political Science), daliyang@uchicago.edu

The East Asia Workshop is sponsored by the Council on Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences.

October 17, 2018
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Oct 24, Bonie Chan | Anchoring an Alliance: Explaining Southeast Asian Balancing Behavior Against China After 1945

 

EAST ASIA WORKSHOP: POLITICS, ECONOMY & SOCIETY

 

“Anchoring an Alliance: Explaining Southeast Asian Balancing Behavior Against China After 1945”

 

Bonnie Chan

PhD Candidate, UChicago Political Science

Oct 24, Wed 12:00-1:30 pm

Pick Lounge, 5828 South University Ave.

Pizza will be provided

 

Abstract

Under what circumstances would a group of small and medium states balance against a large threat? Despite China’s exponential economic growth in the past few decades and its growing ambition in the South China Sea, there has not been a concerted regional effort to contain China. I posit that because of the asymmetry of power among states in Asia, there exists a peculiar sort of collective action problem – deterrence from external balancing becomes a threshold public good. The implication is that no one state has an incentive to start a balancing coalition even if all of China’s neighbors would prefer joining one. To solve the collective action problem, I argue that the commitment of an extra-regional great power is necessary. To test my theory, I examine how changes in American commitment to various Southeast Asian states during the Cold War and after the Cold War influenced what actions Southeast Asian leaders took to balance against the rising regional threat of each period.

 

* Subscribe  to our workshop mailing-list at: https://lists.uchicago.edu/web/info/east-asia

* Abstract or description of each presentation will be posted on our website: http://cas.uchicago.edu/workshops/eastasia

* Questions and comments can be addressed to the student coordinators Jongyoon Baik: baikjongyoon@uchicago.edu and Ji Xue: jixue@uchicago.edu

*Persons with disabilities who believe they may need assistance please contact the student coordinators in advance.

The East Asia Workshop is sponsored by the Council on Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences.

 

Faculty Sponsors:

Xi Song (Sociology), xisong@uchicago.edu

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

The East Asia Workshop is sponsored by the Council on Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences.

October 9, 2018
by ji
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Oct 17, Dinny McMahon | After the Deluge: Deleveraging and the challenge of cleaning up China’s debt problems

EAST ASIA WORKSHOP: POLITICS, ECONOMY & SOCIETY

“After the Deluge: Deleveraging and the challenge of cleaning up China’s debt problems”

Dinny McMahon, Paulson Institute

Oct 17, Wed 12:00-1:30 pm

Pick Lounge, 5828 South University Ave.

Light refreshments will be provided

 

Abstract

In the wake of the global financial crisis the pace of debt accumulation in the Chinese economy rapidly accelerated. A decade on, China’s financial authorities are now in the midst of cleaning up the waste, excess, and risk that built up in the country’s financial system as a result. This talk will look at how Beijing is approaching the clean-up, how it differs from the last time Beijing faced major debt problems, and what current efforts are trying to achieve.

About the Presenter

Dinny McMahon spent ten years as a financial journalist in China, including six years in Beijing with The Wall Street Journal, and four years with Dow Jones Newswires in Shanghai, where he also contributed to the Far Eastern Economic Review. In 2015, he left China and The Wall Street Journal to take up a fellowship at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, a think tank in Washington DC, where he wrote China’s Great Wall of Debt: Shadow Banks, Ghost Cities, Massive Loans, and the End of the Chinese Miracle. He is currently a fellow at MacroPolo, the Paulson Institute’s think tank, where he writes about China’s efforts to clean up its financial system.

 

 

* Subscribe  to our workshop mailing-list at: https://lists.uchicago.edu/web/info/east-asia

* Abstract or description of each presentation will be posted on our website: http://cas.uchicago.edu/workshops/eastasia

* Questions and comments can be addressed to the student coordinators Jongyoon Baik: baikjongyoon@uchicago.edu and Ji Xue: jixue@uchicago.edu

*Persons with disabilities who believe they may need assistance please contact the student coordinators in advance.

Faculty Sponsors:

Xi Song (Sociology), xisong@uchicago.edu

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

Dingxin Zhao (Sociology), dzhao@uchicago.edu

The East Asia Workshop is sponsored by the Council on Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences.

October 3, 2018
by baikjongyoon
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Oct 5, 童之伟 | 中国政法领域研究的热点问题评说

EAST ASIA WORKSHOP: POLITICS, ECONOMY & SOCIETY

“中国政法领域研究的热点问题评说 (Comment on Hot Issues in China’s Political and Legal Research)”

童之伟, East China University of Political Science and Law

*The main language of the session is Chinese*

 

Oct 5, Fri 4:00-5:30 pm

Pick 319, 5828 South University Ave.

Light refreshments will be provided

About the Presenter

Tong Zhiwei, Ph.D in Law (1994, Wuhan University), is a Professor of Law at the East China University of Political Science and Law. He is also the president of the Shanghai Constitutional Law Society and one of the vice presidents of  China Constitutional Law Society. He has published many articles and books on jurisprudence and constitutional law, including Constitutional Reforms in Contemporary China (City University of Hong Kong Press, 2016), Forms of State Structure (Peking University Press, second edition, 2015), and Right, Power, and Faquanism:A Practical Legal Theory from Contemporary China (Brill 2018).

This workshop features interdisciplinary scholarship addressing topics relating to social, political, economic as well as cultural matters and issues in East Asia. Our presenters come from various disciplines such as sociology, political science, economics, anthropology, history, etc. The goal of this workshop is to foster communication and collaboration among students and scholars whose interest lies in East Asia at the University of Chicago and in the wider East Asian Studies community.

 

* Subscribe  to our workshop mailing-list at: https://lists.uchicago.edu/web/info/east-asia

* Abstract or description of each presentation will be posted on our website: http://cas.uchicago.edu/workshops/eastasia

* Questions and comments can be addressed to the student coordinators Jongyoon Baik: baikjongyoon@uchicago.edu and Ji Xue: jixue@uchicago.edu

*Persons with disabilities who believe they may need assistance please contact the student coordinators in advance.

Faculty Sponsors:

Xi Song (Sociology), xisong@uchicago.edu

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

Dingxin Zhao (Sociology), dzhao@uchicago.edu

The East Asia Workshop is sponsored by the Council on Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences.

October 3, 2018
by baikjongyoon
0 comments

Autumn 2018 Workshop Schedule

EAST ASIA WORKSHOP: POLITICS, ECONOMY & SOCIETY

Autumn 2018 Workshop Schedule

Wednesday 12:00-1:30 pm at Pick Lounge (5828 South University Ave), unless otherwise stated

Oct 5, Fri 4:00-5:30, at Pick 319

“中国政法领域研究的热点问题评说” (in Chinese)

童之伟, East China University of Political Science and Law

Oct 17

“After the Deluge: Deleveraging and the challenge of cleaning up China’s debt problems”

Dinny McMahon, Paulson Institute

Oct 24

“Anchoring an Alliance:

Explaining Southeast Asian Balancing Behavior Against China After 1945″

Bonnie Chan, UChicago Political Science PhD student

Oct 31

MA Session – Lingnan He, Fangzhu Lu, and Chengzuo Tang

Nov 7

“Understanding Chinese Opinion Leaders’ Political Stances”

Yinxian Zhang, UChicago Sociology PhD student

Nov 13, Tue 12:30-2:00

“Personal Ties, Meritocracy, and China’s Anti-Corruption Campaign”

Peter Lorentzen, University of San Francisco Economics

(joint workshop with the Comparative Politics Workshop)

Nov 21

“Legality in Contemporary Chinese Politics”

Tom Ginsburg, UChicago Law

This workshop features interdisciplinary scholarship addressing topics relating to social, political, economic as well as cultural matters and issues in East Asia. Our presenters come from various disciplines such as sociology, political science, economics, anthropology, history, etc. The goal of this workshop is to foster communication and collaboration among students and scholars whose interest lies in East Asia at the University of Chicago and in the wider East Asian Studies community.

* Subscribe  to our workshop mailing-list at: https://lists.uchicago.edu/web/info/east-asia

* Abstract or description of each presentation will be posted on our website: http://cas.uchicago.edu/workshops/eastasia

* Questions and comments can be addressed to the student coordinators Jongyoon Baik: baikjongyoon@uchicago.edu and Ji Xue: jixue@uchicago.edu

*Persons with disabilities who believe they may need assistance please contact the student coordinators in advance.

Faculty Sponsors:

Xi Song (Sociology), xisong@uchicago.edu

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

Dingxin Zhao (Sociology), dzhao@uchicago.edu

The East Asia Workshop is sponsored by the Council on Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences.

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