East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society

February 13, 2019
by baikjongyoon
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Feb 20 | Kevin Weng, “Coup-Proofing to Victory: Military Effectiveness and the Puzzle of Nationalist China, 1937-1949”

EAST ASIA WORKSHOP: POLITICS, ECONOMY & SOCIETY

 

“Coup-Proofing to Victory: Military Effectiveness

and the Puzzle of Nationalist China, 1937-1949″

 

 

Kevin Weng

UChicago Political Science PhD Student

Feb 20, Wed 12:00-1:30 pm

Pick Lounge, 5828 South University Ave.

Pizza will be provided

Abstract

Conventional wisdom argues that the militaries of autocratic regimes engaged in coup-proofing are, on average, less effective at fighting conventional wars. However, such theories fail to account for the empirical puzzle of Nationalist China, which managed to sustain a surprisingly effective war effort against Imperial Japan during the Second Sino-Japanese War. I argue that – contrary to existing theories which point to coup-proofing and military politicization as the primary determinants of battlefield (in)effectiveness – variations in the military performance of the National Revolutionary Army can be traced back to the Guomindang government’s shifting dependence on either land rents or customs duties & foreign financing. By developing the extractive infrastructure which allowed for an expansion of the land tax, the Guomindang increased the logistical capacities of the Nationalist state, which in turn led to enhanced battlefield effectiveness. In contrast, a re-orientation towards depending on customs collections and American Lend-Lease aid during the later stages of the war led to a more limited logistical network, thereby reducing battlefield effectiveness. To demonstrate my argument’s claims, I rely on historical process-tracing of the National Revolutionary Army’s military campaigns from 1937-1949, while drawing upon archival evidence collected from the Second Historical Archives of China, Academia Historica, The Hoover Archives, & the U.S. National Archives.

* 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.

February 13, 2019
by baikjongyoon
0 comments

Feb 6 | Anna L. Ahlers, “China’s ‘Airpocalypse’ and its Political Impact”

EAST ASIA WORKSHOP: POLITICS, ECONOMY & SOCIETY

 

China’s ‘Airpocalypse’ and its Political Impact”

 

Anna Lisa Ahlers

 

Associate Professor in Modern Chinese Society and Politics

Department of Cultural Studies and Oriental Languages

University of Oslo

Visiting Professor at the University of Chicago

Feb 6, Wed 12:00-1:30 pm

Pick Lounge, 5828 South University Ave.

Pizza will be provided

Abstract

For about a decade now air pollution is the most hotly debated environmental problem in Chinese society. The 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing and the huge winter smog events of 2012/13 in Northeastern cities marked a watershed in communication about this problem. Concern about the health effects of heavy air pollution has become a fact of life for Chinese urbanites but did also fuel demands for political solutions. In 2013 the government issued an action plan for air pollution control (which was recently renewed) and declared a high-profile war on environmental pollution a year later, introducing some harsh new measures and sweeping monitoring of their implementation. China’s newfound “authoritarian environmentalism” in fact seems to have yielded significant results already, as even Greenpeace admits, and average annual urban air pollution has been on the decline in recent years. How has this turnaround in Chinese environmental politics, which was largely ineffective for decades, been possible and what are its main features?

 

In my talk, I will draw some preliminary conclusions concerning the political impact of China’s “airpocalypse”, based on almost five years of research in an international and interdisciplinary project team (AIRBORNE, hosted at the University of Oslo – more). I argue that the smog experience turns out to have been a trigger for overall changes in environmental governance in China, especially at the interfaces of political authorities, science, media and the general public. I will present some examples of these – sometimes rather surprising – new governance mechanisms, their background and effects. Last but not least, the apparent return of extreme smog events this winter also calls into question the government’s preferred narrative, and I will outline some of the current questions that warrant further research on this topic.

 

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

* Our website: http://cas.uchicago.edu/workshops/eastasia

* 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.

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