April 21 Workshop

East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society Presents

 

“From Bureaucrats To Politicians: Seikai-Tensin (政界転身)’s Political Success in Postwar Japan”

 

Nara Park

PhD Candidate, Department of Political Science

University of Chicago

 

4:30-6pm, Tuesday

April 21, 2015

Pick Lounge, 5828 South University Ave.

 

Abstract

In postwar Japan, Amakudari (天下り) has been institutionalized as a practice where a considerable number of retired top-level bureaucrats get to acquire high-profile positions in other sectors including private enterprises, public corporations, and the parliament. As such, the postwar Diet has consistently displayed the predominance of former bureaucrats within: namely, Seikai- Tensin (政界転身: one’s transformation into the political world) politicians. Among those who were elected in the 2012 general election, 81 representatives previously worked in the national government, which consists of 16.9% of the entire House. According to my preliminary studies, about 14.5 percent of Lower House Members – and presumably about the same proportion of the Upper House Members – have been classified as Seikai-Tensin politicians after World War II. In this study, I argue that, in Japan, being a former senior bureaucrat in the central government – likely also possessing superior educational background and personal connections – has been a crucial asset for those who desire to be a successful politician. Through an OLS regression analysis, I will show Seikai-Tensin politicians are likely to be elected to the Diet with higher levels of electoral support than those with no bureaucratic background, other things being equal.

All in all, this research will ultimately shed light on how a mature democracy like the Japanese one has been developed with the elite endorsed by people through elections, namely Seikai-Tensin politicians. This is an example of the modern elite leading the national policy making with a hard-earned status acquired by their own abilities and endeavors. Simply put, the transformation from one form of the elite into another (i.e., from the bureaucratic to political elite) goes through legitimate and democratic measures, rather than personalistic and hereditary practices. Eventually, this study will help us better understand the relationship between “the elite and democracy” and “elections and democracy.”

 

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

Student coordinator: Wen Xie (wxie@uchicago.edu)

Faculty sponsors: Dali Yang, Dingxin Zhao and Zheng Michael Song

 

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.

East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society Presents

 

“From the Chinese Work Unit to the Foxconn Factory: The Disappearing Spatial Advantage”

 

Duanfang Lu

Associate Professor, Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning

The University of Sydney, Australia

 

4:30-6pm, Friday

April 17, 2015

Social Sciences 302

Abstract

In 2010 a series of workplace suicides at Foxconn stirred profound concerns about Foxconn, a Taiwanese multinational electronics manufacturing company, as a global labor regime. A close look into the spatiality of Foxconn factories and associated facilities reveals some parallels between the work unit (danwei) – the socialist enterprise or institute – and the Foxconn factory. This talk offers a reading of changing urbanism and modernity in the context of China’s rapid urbanization through a comparative analysis of space and everyday life in the Foxconn factory and the work unit. Unlike existing studies on Foxconn focusing on labor issues, this study, drawing on fieldwork in Foxconn Kunshan, provides an alternative reading of Chinese urbanization by highlighting electronics factories as spaces of learning where rural migrant workers learn to be urban. It shows that such processes of urban learning are socio-spatially structured through unequal relations of resource and knowledge, which do not exist independently of the local, national and global power. With workers’ adoption of new social networking technologies in recent years, the advantage of carefully constructed spatial confines is in the process of disappearing.

 

Speaker:

Duanfang Lu is Associate Professor and Research Chair of Architectural History, Theory & Criticism in the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning at the University of Sydney, Australia. She was educated at Tsinghua University, Beijing and the University of California, Berkeley, and has extensive experience in architectural and urban design. She has published widely on modern architectural and planning history. Her main publications include Remaking Chinese Urban Form (2006, 2011) and Third World Modernism (2010). She is an Australian Research Council Future Fellow in 2012–2016.

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

Student coordinator: Wen Xie (wxie@uchicago.edu)

Faculty sponsors: Dali Yang, Dingxin Zhao and Zheng Michael Song

 

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.

April 7 Workshop

East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society Presents

 

“Friends with Benefits: Patronage Politics and Distributive Strategies in China”

 

Junyan Jiang

PhD Student, Department of Political Science

University of Chicago

 

4:30-6pm, Tuesday

April 7, 2015

Pick Lounge, 5828 South University Ave.

 

Abstract

We develop a theory of distributive politics for authoritarian regimes based on the incentives of individual politicians. We argue that in a system where power originates from informal patronage networks, aspiring politicians have an incentive to use state resources to aid the careers of lower-level officials who will become their future political allies. This incentive, however, is checked by the the presence of competing patrons who possess the power to sanction. We illustrate this tradeoff in a simple model and test the predictions using new fiscal and political biographic data from Chinese cities between 2001-2009 with a novel method that identifies patronage ties from past promotions. We find that patronage considerations by the provincial party secretary strongly shape how fiscal transfer is distributed within a province: All else equal a city with leaders promoted by the incumbent provincial secretary receives 4 to 6 percent more transfer than a city without. The degree of favoritism varies markedly with the political cycle, the expected value of the promotion and, most importantly, the relative power balance among patrons. Using both official statistics and data from satellite imagery, we further find that connected cities spend substantially more on infrastructure investments, partially through additional inflow of fiscal transfers.

 

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

Student coordinator: Wen Xie (wxie@uchicago.edu)

Faculty sponsors: Dali Yang, Dingxin Zhao and Zheng Michael Song

 

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.

Spring 2015 Schedule

EAST ASIA WORKSHOP: POLITICS, ECONOMY & SOCIETY

Spring 2015 Workshop Schedule

 

April 7

“Friends with Benefits: Patronage Politics and Distributive Strategies in China”

Junyan Jiang

PhD Student, Department of Political Science

The University of Chicago

April 17*

*Extra Session. 4:30-6pm. SS302*

“From the Chinese Work Unit to the Foxconn Factory: The Disappearing Spatial Advantage “

Duanfang Lu

Associate Professor, Department of Architecture, Design and Planning

The University of Sydney

April 21

“From Bureaucrats To Politicians: Seikai-Tensin (政界転身)’s Political Success in Postwar Japan”

Nara Park

PhD Candidate, Department of Political Science

The University of Chicago

May 5

“The Politics of Anticorruption in China”

Yan Xu

PhD Student, Department of Political Science

The University of Chicago

May 19

Special Session: Master Panel

Master Students

The University of Chicago

June 2

“When Socialism Meets Market: The Reconstruction of Economic Discourse in China”

Wen Xie

PhD Student, Department of Sociology

The University of Chicago

    The workshop meets on alternate Tuesdays 4:30-6pm at Pick Lounge, 5828 South University Avenue, unless otherwise specified (*). Abstracts are available on our website: http://cas.uchicago.edu/workshops/eastasia/. Questions and comments should be addressed to the coordinator Wen Xie: wxie@uchicago.edu

    

Faculty Sponsors:

Dali Yang (Political Science), daliyang@uchicago.edu

Dingxin Zhao (Sociology), dzhao@uchicago.edu

Zheng Michael Song (Booth School of Business),Zheng.Song@chicagobooth.edu

Mar 18 Workshop

East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society Presents

 

 “Criminalizing the Muslim Violence as seen in the Legal Cases of Qing China, 1760 to 1830”

 

Geng Tian

PhD Candidate, Department of Sociology

University of Chicago

 

4-5:30pm, Wednesday

March 18, 2015

Social Sciences 302

**Note the unusual meeting time and location**

 

Abstract

From late 18th century to early 19th century, the Qing state Empire (re. 1644 -1911) by various criminal legislatures selected out Muslims living in the interior provinces as a particular category of subjects who were to receive harsher punishments for conducing armed collective violence. Currently, many scholars have thought such a way of criminalizing collective violence done by Muslim subjects reflect the increasing disadvantaging or discrimination of the Muslims during that period. While these thoughts rightly point out the existence of discrimination of Muslims in political and social life, they have difficulty in explaining either the contents of those particular legislatures or the evolution of the criminalization in the documented period. In view of the two explanatory loopholes, I thus suggest an alternative account of the criminalization of Muslim violence by replacing those particular legislatures and adjudications based on them into the broader context of the Qing’s legal regulation of collective violence. This regulation consisted in legalizing harsher punishments over criminals who were either from certain social groups or conducted the crime in specific regions of strong mores towards popular violence. I argue that such a general practice of criminalizing violence formed the basis of an imperial, legal mindset which were irreducible to the idea of ethnic discrimination in the Qing’s legal regime over the Muslim subjects.

 

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

Student coordinator: Wen Xie (wxie@uchicago.edu)

Faculty sponsors: Dali Yang, Dingxin Zhao and Zheng Michael Song

 

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 24 Workshop

East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society Presents

 

“Evolution of the Interindustry Wage Structure in China Since the 1980’s”

 

Belton Fleisher

Professor Emeritus, Department of Economics

Ohio State University

 

4:30-6pm, Tuesday

February 24, 2015

Pick Lounge, 5828 South University Ave.

 

Abstract

Industry mean wages in China have exhibited sharply increased dispersion since the early1990s. Researchers have attributed this rising inequality within the industrial wage structure (IWS) to (1) increasingly competitive labor markets leading to better matches between worker pay, worker skills, and employer demands; or (2) residual government control in some industrial sectors that has generated high wages through monopoly rent sharing. We argue that the rise in China’s industrial wage dispersion is primarily attributable to increasingly competitive labor markets which have led to greater returns to schooling and to efficient redistribution of workers across major industry groups. We cannot reject the null hypothesis that the level or changes in government monopoly power has had negligible impact on China’s rising industrial wage dispersion.

 

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

Student coordinator: Wen Xie (wxie@uchicago.edu)

Faculty sponsors: Dali Yang, Dingxin Zhao and Zheng Michael Song

 

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 10 Workshop

East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society Presents

 

 “Global Religious Change, Local Politics, and Civil Life in China and Taiwan”

 

Robert Weller

Professor, Department of Anthropology

Boston University

 

4:30-6pm, Tuesday

February 10, 2015

Pick Lounge, 5828 South University Ave.

Abstract

This paper discusses four of the most important global trends as they were accommodated, adjusted, and transformed on both sides of the Taiwan Strait: the removal of religion from politics (secularization), the attempt to confine it to a purely religious sphere (religionization), the increased interest in textual authority and religious self-consciousness (rationalization), and an increase in the direct physical manifestations of belief through unmediated physical experience (embodiment). The current similarities show the relative importance of shared cultural traditions and shared global influences over differing forms of political control. Nevertheless, some significant differences have also appeared in the religious ecology of the two places, especially in the relative importance of local temple worship, Buddhism, and Christianity. One result is that Taiwan’s adaption to global religious change has had much stronger indigenous Chinese roots than we see on the mainland.

 

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

Student coordinator: Wen Xie (wxie@uchicago.edu)

Faculty sponsors: Dali Yang, Dingxin Zhao and Zheng Michael Song

 

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 27 Workshop

East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society Presents

 

A Protest Society and Workers’ Strikes in China

 

Chih-Jou Jay Chen (陳志柔)

Visiting Scholar, Harvard-Yenching Institute

Associate Research Fellow, Academia Sinica

 

4:30-6pm, Tuesday

January 27, 2015

Pick Lounge, 5828 South University Ave.

 

Abstract

 

This study examines the institutionalization of popular protest and state response in China, using a database of 5,000 news events on mass protests from 2000 to 2013 and an in-depth field report of a massive strike occurred in Guangdong in April 2014. I first highlight key features of popular protests in China, including the initial groups, claims, targets, scales, forms, locations, and protest policing. Then I examine the dynamic relationship between protest and repression, and shows that severe repression such as police arresting protesters has been selective, depending on the protests’ forms, sizes, targets, and group background. I argue that the institutionalization of protest and repression in China has become segmented, and has evolved unevenly and inconsistently, thus exposing government’s intent and strategies in tolerating or containing social unrest. For the second part of this talk, I show the protest mobilization and government response of an unusual massive 10-day strike involving 40 thousand workers may be attributed to a series of mechanism, including: 1) spontaneous mobilization of workers; 2) ecology of factory that nurtured close-knit worker networks; 3) support from independent labor organizations; 4) rights claims based on legalism; and 5) mobilization through emotions, cultural symbols, and rumors. On the other hand, nowadays the employer and local government have had different interests and incentives, and thus could not efficiently collude on curbing a massive strike like in the old days. The local state, although unable to prevent a strike from happening, is still able to contain a massive strike, relying on its police, official trade unions, and Party system. This study shows that the institutionalization of rising popular protests is crucial to maintain social stability and to strengthen the legitimacy for the Chinese state.

 

 

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

Student coordinator: Wen Xie (wxie@uchicago.edu)

Faculty sponsors: Dali Yang, Dingxin Zhao and Zheng Michael Song

 

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 13 Workshop

East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society Presents

 

Toward an Integrated Theory of New Organizational Form: the Crystallization of Mass Teaching in New Oriental before its Diffusion in China’s Education and Training Industry, 1980-2000

 

Le Lin

PhD Candidate

Department of Sociology

University of Chicago

 

4:30-6pm, Tuesday

January 13, 2015

Pick Lounge, 5828 South University Ave.

 

Abstract

In this paper, I explain why mass teaching emerged as a trendy organizational form in China’s education and training industry from 1980 to 2000. Previous theories of new organizational form have focused on selection and succession among multiple existing forms, but they all neglect how pioneering organizations crystalized a new form into a full-fledged model that can be imitated and diffused. To fill this missing theoretical link, I examine why and how New Oriental, now China’s largest educational corporation, incorporated certain organizational elements, adopted certain strategic direction, and developed an advanced form of mass teaching to such an extent that this form fueled New Oriental’s dominance of the studying-abroad test-prep segment and it was later imitated across the industry. The underlying mechanism, I argue, is New Oriental’s adaptation process along the direction of a particular r-K composition. Specifically, the founder of New Oriental initially employed r-strategies to recruit a large number of students. Through using his own teaching style as the benchmark for internal competition and later through succession of teachers, he further upgraded his quality control K-strategies, not toward measurable students’ gain or delivery of educational content, but toward greater emphasis on the form of class presentation. The different level of inertia among different organizations enabled New Oriental but not others to carry this particular r-K composition—K-strategies in the r-direction—to a full-fledged form. My data is primarily drawn from historical archives, in-depth interviews and published works such as memoires. I include five additional cases to increase validity and reduce selection on dependent variable. Broader theoretical implication is discussed.

 

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

Student coordinator: Wen Xie (wxie@uchicago.edu)

Faculty sponsors: Dali Yang, Dingxin Zhao and Zheng Michael Song

 

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.

Winter 2015 Schedule

EAST ASIA WORKSHOP: POLITICS, ECONOMY & SOCIETY

Winter 2015 Workshop Schedule

 

January 13

“Toward an Integrated Theory of New Organizational Form: the Crystallization of Mass Teaching in New Oriental before its Diffusion in China’s Education and Training Industry, 1980-2000”

Le Lin

PhD Candidate, Department of Sociology

University of Chicago

January 27

“A Protest Society and Workers’ Strikes in China”

Chih-Jou Chen

Associate Research Fellow, Institute of Sociology

Academia Sinica

February 10

“Global Religious Change, Local Politics, and Civil Life in China and Taiwan”

Robert Weller

Professor, Department of Anthropology

Boston University

February 24

“Evolution of the Industrial Wage structure in China Since 1980”

Belton Fleisher

Professor Emeritus, Department of Economics

Ohio State University

March 10

“Criminalizing the Muslim Violence as seen in the Legal Cases of Qing China, 1760 to 1830”

Geng Tian

PhD Candidate, Department of Sociology

University of Chicago

 

The workshop meets on alternate Tuesdays 4:30-6pm at Pick Lounge, 5828 South University Avenue. Abstracts are available on our website: http://cas.uchicago.edu/workshops/eastasia/. Questions and comments should be addressed to the coordinator Wen Xie: wxie@uchicago.edu

Faculty Sponsors:

Dali Yang (Political Science), daliyang@uchicago.edu

Dingxin Zhao (Sociology), dzhao@uchicago.edu

Zheng Michael Song (Booth School of Business), Zheng.Song@chicagobooth.edu

 

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