Popular protest in China has been widespread and prevalent. Why do people protest and how are such demonstrations handled by the authorities? Could they ultimately imperil China’s political system? In this book, Teresa Wright analyzes the array of protests that have swept China in the post-Mao period. Exploring popular contention through a range of different groups – from farmers to factory workers, urban homeowners to environmentalists, nationalists to dissidents, ethnic minorities to Hong Kong residents, Wright shows that – with the exception of the latter – popular protest has achieved adequate government responses to the public’s most serious grievances. Yet Wright cautions that this may not last forever. For Chinese citizens that engage in protest often suffer serious emotional and physical costs. As a result, they have developed an unhealthy relationship with the regime. In this context, Xi Jinping’s recent efforts to restrict public expression may backfire – leading to an explosive dynamic that may threaten the political stability that China’s ruling elites so desire.
Map Introduction CHAPTER ONE: POPULAR PROTEST IN THE POST-MAO ERA CHAPTER TWO: RURAL PROTEST CHAPTER THREE: LABOR PROTEST CHAPTER FOUR: HOMEOWNER PROTEST CHAPTER FIVE: ENVIRONMENTAL PROTEST CHAPTER SIX: NATIONALIST PROTEST CHAPTER SEVEN: POLITICAL PROTEST CHAPTER EIGHT: ETHNIC MINORITY PROTEST CHAPTER NINE: PROTEST IN HONG KONG CONCLUSION
“In this concise but remarkably wide-ranging book, Teresa Wright shows why the Chinese government represses some protests, accommodates others, and responds with policy change to still others. Her keen insights on the government’s varied responses to protest have a lot to say about the practice of Chinese politics and our understanding of it.” Bruce Dickson, The George Washington University"Protest is crucial and tells us much about state-society relations in China. Teresa Wright has mastered a large and scattered literature and located the thread that weaves it together. The origins, dynamics and outcomes of protest are all here, explained clearly and gracefully, from the beginnings of the reform era to today.” Kevin J. O'Brien, University of California, Berkeley
Teresa Wright is Professor of Political Science at California State University, Long Beach.
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