East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society

(Oct.30)Junyan Jiang, “Countering Capture: Elite Networks and Government Responsiveness in China’s Land Market Reform”




“Countering Capture: Elite Networks and Government Responsiveness in China’s Land Market Reform” 

Junyan Jiang

Assistant Professor, Department of Government and Public Administration, Chinese University of Hong Kong



Oct. 30th, Wed 4:00-5:30 pm [SPECIAL DATE & New Time]

Tea Room, Social Science Research Building (2nd floor).

Refreshments will be provided




Government responsiveness is often viewed as a result of political pressure from the public, but why do politicians facing similar pressure sometimes differ in their responsiveness? This article considers the configurations of elite networks as a key mediating factor. We argue that access to external support networks helps improve politicians’ responsiveness to ordinary citizens by reducing their dependence on vested interests, and test this claim using China’s land market reform as a case. Leveraging novel city-level measures of mass grievances and political networks, we demonstrate that the intensity of land-related grievances is on average positively associated with reform occurrence, but this association is only salient among a subset of city leaders who enjoy informal connections to the higher-level authority. We also show that connected leaders tend to implement policies less congruent with local bureaucratic and business interests. These findings underscore the importance of intra-elite dynamics in shaping mass-elite interactions.


Junyan Jiang is Assistant Professor at the Department of Government and Public Administration, the Chinese University of Hong Kong. His research interests include elite politics, public opinion, and mass-elite interactions, with a regional focus on China. His work has appeared in journals such as American Journal of Political ScienceComparative Political StudiesGovernanceJournal of Politics, and Political Research Quarterly. He received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Chicago and was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania between 2016 and 2017.

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

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