Collective Resistance in China
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Collective Resistance in China

Why Popular Protests Succeed or Fail

Yongshun Cai

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eBook - ePub

Collective Resistance in China

Why Popular Protests Succeed or Fail

Yongshun Cai

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Although academics have paid much attention to contentious politics in China and elsewhere, research on the outcomes of social protests, both direct and indirect, in non-democracies is still limited. In this new work, Yongshun Cai combines original fieldwork with secondary sources to examine how social protest has become a viable method of resistance in China and, more importantly, why some collective actions succeed while others fail.

Cai looks at the collective resistance of a range of social groups—peasants to workers to homeowners—and explores the outcomes of social protests in China by adopting an analytical framework that operationalizes the forcefulness of protestor action and the cost-benefit calculations of the government. He shows that a protesting group's ability to create and exploit the divide within the state, mobilize participants, or gain extra support directly affects the outcome of its collective action. Moreover, by exploring the government's response to social protests, the book addresses the resilience of the Chinese political system and its implications for social and political developments in China.

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Chapter 1

Ching Kwan Lee, Against the Law: Labor Protests in China’s Rustbelt and Sunbelt (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007); Kevin O’Brien and Lianjiang Li, Rightful Resistance in Rural China (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006); Yongshun Cai, State and Laid-Off Workers in Reform China: The Silence and Collective Action of the Retrenched (London: Routledge, 2006); Thomas Bernstein and Xiaobo Lu, Taxation without Representation in Contemporary Rural China (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003).
Jae Ho Chung, Hongyi Lai, and Ming Xia, “Mounting Challenges to Governance in China: Surveying Collective Protestors, Religious Sects and Criminal Organizations,” China Journal 56 (2006): 1–31.
Peter Eisinger, “The Conditions of Protest Behavior in American Cities,” American Political Science Review 67, 1 (1973): 11–28; William Gamson, The Strategy of Social Protest (Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 1990), 81.
Scattered cases of successful resistance have been reported in a number of studies. See O’Brien and Li, Rightful Resistance in Rural China; Cai, State and Laid-Off Workers in Reform China; Bernstein and Lu, Taxation without Representation in Contemporary Rural China.
Yongshun Cai, “Local Governments and the Suppression of Popular Resistance in China,” China Quarterly 193 (2008): 24–42.
In 2006, more than seventy desperate villagers sent a letter to Takungpao, a Hong Kong-based newspaper supported by the Chinese Communist Party (Takungpao, January 19, 2006).
Jack Goldstone and Charles Tilly, “Threat (and Opportunity): Popular Action and State Response in the Dynamics of Contentious Action,” in Ronald Aminzade, Jack Goldstone, Doug McAdam, Elizabeth Perry, William Sewell, Sidney Tarrow, Charles Tilley, eds., Silence and Voice in the Study of Contentious Politics (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2001), 179–194; Christian Davenport, “Multi-Dimensional Threat Perception and State Repression: An Inquiry into Why States Apply Negative Sanctions,” American Journal of Political Science 39, 3 (1995): 683–713.
Grzegorz Ekiert, The State against Society: Political Crises and Their Aftermath in East Central Europe (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1996).
Paul Kecskemeti, The Unexpected Revolution (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1961), 150.
For reviews, see Marco Giugni, “Was It Worth the Effort? The Outcomes and Consequences of Social Movements,” Annual Review of Sociology 24 (1998): 371–93; and Donatella Della Porta and Mario Diani, Social Movements: An Introduction (Oxford, U.K.: Blackwell, 1999), chapter 9.
Gamson, The Strategy of Social Protest, 28.
Paul Burstein, Rachel Einwohner, and Jocelyn Hollander, “The Success of Political Movements: A Bargaining Perspective,” in Craig Jenkins and Bert Klandermans, eds., The Politics of Social Protest: Comparative Perspectives on States and Social Movements (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1995), 275–295.
Marco Giugni, “How Social Movements Matter: Past Research, Present Problems, Future Developments,” in Marco Giugni, Doug McAdam, and Charles Tilly, eds., How Social Movements Matter (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1999), xiii–xxxiii.
Doug McAdam, Political Process and the Development of Black Insurgency 1930–1970, 2nd ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999); Sidney Tarrow, Power in Movement (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998); Charles Tilly, From Mobilization to Revolution (New York: Random House, 1978).
McAdam, Political Process and the Development of Black Insurgency, 44–47; Gamson, The Strategy of Social Protest, chapters 4, 5.
Doug McAdam, “Tactical Innovation and the Pace of Insurgency,” American Sociological Review 48, 6 (1983): 735–754.
Gamson, The Strategy of Protest, chapter 4; Homer Steedly and John Foley, “The Success of Protest Groups: Multivariate Analysis,” Social Science Research 8 (1979): 1–15.
Susanne Lohmann, “The Dynamics of Information Cascades: The Monday Demonstration in Leipzeig East Germany, 1989–1991,” World Politics 47, 1 (1994): 42–101; Charles Kurzman, “Structural Opportunities and Perceived Opportunity in Social-Movement Theory: The Iranian Revolution of 1979,” American Sociological Review 61, 1 (1996): 153–170.
Donatella della Porta, Social Movements, Political Violence and the State. (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1995).
Murray Scott Tanner, “China Rethinks Unrest,” The Washington Quarterly 27, 3 (2004): 137–156.
Hu Baozhen, Xie Tianchang, Chen Maohua, ...

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Stili delle citazioni per Collective Resistance in China
APA 6 Citation
Cai, Y. (2010). Collective Resistance in China (1st ed.). Stanford University Press. Retrieved from (Original work published 2010)
Chicago Citation
Cai, Yongshun. (2010) 2010. Collective Resistance in China. 1st ed. Stanford University Press.
Harvard Citation
Cai, Y. (2010) Collective Resistance in China. 1st edn. Stanford University Press. Available at: (Accessed: 14 October 2022).
MLA 7 Citation
Cai, Yongshun. Collective Resistance in China. 1st ed. Stanford University Press, 2010. Web. 14 Oct. 2022.