May 17, Xiao-bo Yuan, “Economies of Exposure: the ethics of concealment and revelation in Chinese Christianities”

East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society presents

 

 “Economies of Exposure: the ethics of concealment and revelation in Chinese Christianities”

Xiao-bo Yuan

PhD Student, Department of Anthropology

The University of Chicago

4:30-6:00p.m., Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Pick Lounge, 5828 South University Ave.

Abstract

In this presentation, I draw on fieldwork conducted among Christian communities in the Nanjing metropolitan area to examine how aspirations to publicity or secrecy are expressed and contested within different (registered and unregistered) Christian communities. Through these cases, I examine how publicity and secrecy are calibrated and given value, and how assumptions about the intersections between religious belief and public life give shape to very different Christian institutional forms and practices in China. Rather than considering the above- and underground distinction to be primarily a product of state regulations and churches’ assent or resistance to government monitoring, this paper attends to the labors of Christian institutions in “opening up” and “going underground” as projects of producing specific kinds of (in)visibility. These labors are informed, I suggest, by “economies of exposure” — differentially distributed possibilities for challenging the state’s structures of legibility for religious organizations. Here, I explore the sensibilities toward publicity and secrecy, exposure and concealment, that organize the practices of Christians in China. What forms of publicity do churches aspire to, and how are they motivated to do so? How are conditions of secrecy maintained in other instances? What kinds of Christian subjects are produced through the work of revelation and concealment?

 

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

Student coordinator: Yan Xu (xuyan@uchicago.edu)

Faculty sponsors: Xi Song, Dali Yang and Dingxin Zhao

 

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.

May 3, Haifeng Huang, “Information from Abroad: Foreign Media, Selective Exposure, and Political Support in China”

East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society presents

 

 “Information from Abroad: Foreign Media, Selective Exposure, and Political Support in China”

Haifeng Huang

Assistant Professor of Political Science

University of California, Merced

4:30-6:00p.m., Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Pick Lounge, 5828 South University Ave.

 

Abstract

What kind of content do citizens in a developing and authoritarian country like to acquire from Western free media? What are the effects of their potentially selective exposure? Through a novel survey experiment with 1200 Chinese Internet users from diverse sociodemographic backgrounds, we find that Chinese citizens with higher pro-Western orientations and lower regime evaluations are more inclined to read content that is positive about foreign countries and/or negative about China. More importantly, because reputable Western media’s reports are generally more balanced and realistic than overly rosy information about foreign countries that popularly circulates in China, reading positive (but realistic) foreign media content about foreign countries improves rather than worsens the domestic evaluations of citizens who self-select such content. Consequently, foreign media may enhance regime stability in an authoritarian country by making regime critics less critical (censorship of foreign media, on the other hand, may backfire). Along the way the article also introduces an innovative experimental procedure that integrates self-selection and random assignment of treatments in a way useful for studies of information effects.

 

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

Student coordinator: Yan Xu (xuyan@uchicago.edu)

Faculty sponsors: Xi Song, Dali Yang and Dingxin Zhao

 

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.

Apr 19, Junyan Jiang, “Elite Networks and State Capacity: Evidence from A Pollution Control Campaign in China”

East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society presents

 

 “Elite Networks and State Capacity: Evidence from A Pollution Control Campaign in China”

Junyan Jiang

PhD Student, Department of Political Science

The University of Chicago

4:30-6:00p.m., Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Pick Lounge, 5828 South University Ave.

 

Abstract

What makes a bureaucracy effective? While much of the literature on state capacity emphasizes the features of the formal bureaucratic institutions, I argue that effective policy implementation also hinges on the mobilization of informal networks, which help carry out high-level directives in localities. Exploiting an unexpected increase in the Chinese central government’s perceived urgency of pollution control in 2007, I empirically examine how connections with higher-level patrons conditioned local agents’ responses to the center’s call for emission reduction. Analyses of both official statistics on emission of sulfur dioxide and satellite data on aerosol optical thickness suggest that cities headed by leaders promoted under the incumbent provincial secretary experienced considerably larger emission reduction than unconnected cities after the campaign was initiated. The total amount of emission reduction associated with informal connections is estimated to be as large as about 2 million tones by the end of 2011. I also find some evidence that connected agents are most effective in localities where the state has strong formal or informal ties with the society, suggesting that internal cohesion and external penetration are complementary in enhancing state capacity.

 

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

Student coordinator: Yan Xu (xuyan@uchicago.edu)

Faculty sponsors: Xi Song, Dali Yang and Dingxin Zhao

 

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.

March 8, Yinxian Zhang, “Chinese Online Nationalism Revisited: Toward a Multi-faceted Understanding of Nationalism”

East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society presents

 

 “Chinese Online Nationalism Revisited: Toward a Multi-faceted Understanding of Nationalism”

Yinxian Zhang

Ph.D. Student, Department of Sociology

University of Chicago

4:30-6:00p.m., Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Pick Lounge, 5828 South University Ave.

 

 

Abstract

Scholars of Chinese online nationalism have tended to emphasize the prevalence of a radical nationalism discourse in the cyberspace. They also argue that this discourse calls for a stronger rather than freer China, and that nationalism dampens China’s prospects for democratic reforms. Despite the compelling data in these literature, scholars tend to explore their subject by focusing on either a single case (e.g., popular reaction to the territorial dispute between China and Japan) or a single aspect of nationalism (e.g., only through the lens of foreign issues). Therefore, they will examine people’s online expression of hatred towards Japan for instance, and take this as evidence of the prevalence of online nationalism.

Adopting a different operationalization of nationalism, this paper disaggregates this subject into different components and juxtaposes several cases/topics where nationalist sentiment arises. Using data extracted from a corpus of 27 billion Weibo posts, this paper presents fresh evidence that questions the findings of the previous literature. In particular, my research shows that, although a voice online, nationalism does not dominate the public cyberspace. Moreover, different from the stereotype of a regime defender, the so-called nationalists would often hold diverse opinions towards different issues, criticize state policies and challenge the regime as civil activists. Overall, my research shows that online nationalists by no means form the monolithic social block that is typically depicted by contemporary scholarship and media coverage.

 

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

Student coordinator: Yan Xu (xuyan@uchicago.edu)

Faculty sponsors: Xi Song, Dali Yang and Dingxin Zhao

 

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.

Feb 16, Zhiying Ma, “Promises and Perils of Guan: Mental Health Care and the Rise of Biopolitical Paternalism in Post-Socialist China”

East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society presents

 

 “Promises and Perils of Guan:Mental Health Care and the Rise of Biopolitical Paternalism in Post-Socialist China”

Zhiying Ma

Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Anthropology

University of Chicago

4:30-6:00p.m., Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Pick Lounge, 5828 South University Ave.

 

Abstract

Over the last three decades, most psychiatric inpatients in China have been hospitalized against their will, by their families. The first national Mental Health Law, effective since 2013, has reinforced the family’s rights and responsibilities in psychiatric care. The family’s involvement is inscribed in the keyword guan (管), a polysemous word that can refer to caring about and being responsible for another individual, and/or to managing, governing and controlling interpersonal situations. Drawing on 32 months of fieldwork, my research examines the family’s involvement in psychiatry as technical, institutional, and ideological configurations, and explores their implications for the ethics, affects, and political economy of care and population governance in post-socialist China.

In this talk, I will trace the circulation of guan between legal, psychiatric, and familial realms. I argue that a biopolitical paternalism has emerged in post-socialist China that demands and legitimizes the family’s involvement in psychiatric care, particularly by invoking and reconfiguring the family’s role in performing guan. This ideological and practical formation constitutes mentally ill patients as subjects of perpetual risk management. The cultural ethics of paternalism lends ideological legitimacy to the post-socialist state’s population control. Meanwhile, through the recursive circulation of paternalism, the actual work of care and control are relegated to families. This biopolitical paternalism thus produces vulnerabilities and ethical ambivalences within families, as well as aggravating health disparities across the mentally ill population. I will conclude the talk by considering the conceptual and practical implications of biopolitical paternalism.

 

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

Student coordinator: Yan Xu (xuyan@uchicago.edu)

Faculty sponsors: Xi Song, Dali Yang and Dingxin Zhao

 

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.

Feb 9, George Hong, “A Tale of Two Chinas: the Power-Capital China and the Rights-Deprived China”

East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society presents

 

 “A Tale of Two Chinas: the Power-Capital China and the Rights-Deprived China”

Z. George Hong

Professor of History

Purdue University Calumet

4:30-6:00p.m., Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Pick Lounge, 5828 South University Ave.

Abstract

This presentation – A Tale of Two Chinas – is designed to explore the non-economic price of the Chinese economic development since 1978, highlighting issues such as a power-capital China and rights-deprived China. The first part of this presentation focuses on the institutional price of economic development, with an emphasis on the emergence and development of the power-capital institution. Such an institution is a hybrid political culture that infuses political power and economic capital, as evidenced in the formation of the power-capital economy, growth of the power-capital entrepreneurs and the emergence of the power-capital culture. The second part of this presentation deals with another socio-cultural price of China’s economic growth: the poverty of rights. This is seen in the exclusion and deprivation of disadvantaged groups in the process of economic transition and development. This issue resulted from systematic inequality and injustice and is the main cause for under-representative group’s daunting socio-economic challenges. This is evidenced by the poverty of rights for the urban poor, the poverty of landed rights for farmers and the rights deprivation for migrant laborers. Further evidence includes the Protestant house church members since 1978. Taking advantage of interdisciplinary research on economics, sociology, political science and history, this presentation is intended to supply another analytical dimension of China’s development since 1978, by offering a study of the socio-cultural price and consequences of China’s economic development.

 

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

Student coordinator: Yan Xu (xuyan@uchicago.edu)

Faculty sponsors: Xi Song, Dali Yang and Dingxin Zhao

 

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.

Jan 26, Yuhua Wang, “Do Colleges Breed Revolutionaries? Education and Political Engagement in China After Tiananmen”

East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society presents

 

 “Do Colleges Breed Revolutionaries? Education and Political Engagement in China After Tiananmen”

 

Yuhua Wang

Assistant Professor, Department of Government

Harvard University

4:30-6:00p.m., Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Pick Lounge, 5828 South University Ave.

 

Abstract

Modernization theorists believe that education empowers citizens to take collective actions to challenge authoritarian rule. I present the first quasi-experimental evidence to test the microfoundations of this argument in a noncompetitive authoritarian regime. Exploiting China’s college expansion reform as a natural experiment, I report that higher education increases the overall level of political engagement. However, college education merely has a positive effect on people’s individualistic, expressive behavior, while having no effect on collective actions. China’s young intellectuals also do not differ from the less educated in a range of political attitudes, such as demand for political rights. They care more about local affairs and are more worried about socioeconomic issues, while revealing no particular concerns with broader political issues. I attribute the widespread political apathy among China’s college graduates to the 1989 Tiananmen Massacre and the heightened political control in Chinese universities after 1989.

 

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

Student coordinator: Yan Xu (xuyan@uchicago.edu)

Faculty sponsors: Xi Song, Dali Yang and Dingxin Zhao

 

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.

Jan 12, Lijun Chen, “Report on the State of Children in China”

East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society presents

 

 “Report on the State of Children in China”

Lijun Chen

Senior Researcher, Chapin Hall

The University of Chicago

4:30-6:00p.m., Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Pick Lounge, 5828 South University Ave.

Abstract

This presentation will report the findings from a comprehensive study of the conditions of children in China, which is based on analysis of the nationally representative China Family Panel Survey data. We will address all major domains of child development, including physical health, social-emotional wellbeing, cognitive development and educational performance. Various protective and risk factors for child wellbeing in the ecological contexts of the children will alos be examined, such as family economic conditions, child living arrangement, parenting behavior, school experience, and neighborhood support. Through a comparison of children in rural and urban communities and in different residential arrangement, the findings reveal a striking disparity between rural and urban children in both living conditions and various development outcomes. Especially vulnerable are the left-behind children whose parents have left home to work in urban areas and the children in broken families whose parents are either divorced or have disappeared or passed away.

 

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

Student coordinator: Yan Xu (xuyan@uchicago.edu)

Faculty sponsors: Xi Song, Dali Yang and Dingxin Zhao

 

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.

Dec 2, Zhiwei Tong, “The Road Leading to Independent Trial in China”

“The Road Leading to Independent Trial in China”

Zhiwei Tong

Professor of law

East China University of Political Science and Law

12:15-1:20 p.m., Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Room E, 1111 East 60th Street.

The Chinese Constitution (Art. 126) prescribes: “The people’s courts shall, in accordance with the law, exercise judicial power independently and are not subject to interference by administrative organs, public organizations or individuals.” For decades, how has this provision of the Constitution been enforced? And how to “ensure that judicial bodies exercises their judicial powers fairly and independently”? Professor Zhiwei Tong will discuss some fundamental issues in the reform of the Chinese judicial system, such as the reasons the Chinese judicial system lacks the necessary authoritativeness; the de facto position of a court in the pyramid-like hierarchy of the unified State-Party structure; the reasons China’s justice has no sufficient credibility and what can and cannot be changed in China’s judicial reform; could the courts or judges be tolerated holding a neutral position? Professor Tong will give his assessment of the current project designed for judicial reform in China and discuss the prospects of the reform.

This event is sponsored by the University of Chicago Law School International Programs, the China Law Society, and the East Asia Workshop. This event is free and open to the public, but seating may be limited. Please contact Aican Nguyen at aican@uchicago.edu with any questions or concerns.

Dec 1, Belton Fleisher, “Wages versus Amenities in the Growth of Secondary Industry Employment”

East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society presents

 

“Wages versus Amenities in the Growth of Secondary Industry Employment”

(with William H. McGuire and Nicholas C. Holtkamp)

Belton Fleisher

Professor Emeritus, Department of Economics

Ohio State University

4:30-6:00 p.m., Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Pick Lounge, 5828 South University Ave.

Abstract

We examine the expansion of manufacturing industry in China from the provinces that were the manufacturing powerhouses of the 1990s to adjacent provinces in the Coastal and Inland regions. We concentrate on industry in provinces outside of the Northeast, where the concentration of SOE heavy manufacturing declined sharply as the result of reforms in the 1990s and focus on the questions: a) Do rising wages in manufacturing stimulate relocation of employment to lower-wage regions? b) Is location of employment more sensitive to wages, to worker human capital, or amenities such as infrastructure and Special Economic Zones? c) Identification of the causal roles of wages, human capital, and infrastructure amenities is complicated by endogeneity of human capital through return migration of skilled workers, location of SEZs to areas with better-educated workforce and access to transportation infrastructure, and the impact of rising labor demand on wage rates in expansion areas. We use several alternative estimation strategies and despite endogeneity issues. We find a fairly robust evidence of an elasticity of demand for employment with respect to real wage of approximately -0.2. The estimated impact of education as measured by proportion of workforce with schooling at least junior high school is large and robust, although smaller and less precisely estimated in the presence of the SEZ variables. The presence of Special Economic Zones organized at the national level has a significant, positive impact on secondary industry employment, and there is no evidence of cross-provincial crowing out of industry expansion.

 

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

Student coordinator: Yan Xu (xuyan@uchicago.edu)

Faculty sponsors: Xi Song, Dali Yang and Dingxin Zhao

 

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.