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.

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.

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.

EAST ASIA WORKSHOP: POLITICS, ECONOMY & SOCIETY

Winter 2016 Workshop Schedule

January 12

“Report on the State of Children in China”

Lijun Chen

Senior Researcher, Chapin Hall

The University of Chicago

January 26

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

Yuhua Wang

Assistant Professor, Department of Government

Harvard University

February 9

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

George Hong

Professor of History

Purdue University Calumet

February 23

“Enumerating and Assembling the Social: Governing through Community Mental Health in Post-socialist China”

Zhiying Ma

PhD Student, Department of Anthropology

The University of Chicago

March 8

TBD

Yinxian Zhang

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 Yan Xu at xuyan@uchicago.edu

Faculty Sponsors:

Xi Song (Sociology), xisong@uchicago.edu

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

Dingxin Zhao (Sociology), dzhao@uchicago.edu

“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.

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.

East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society presents

 

“Inter-Generational Power Sharing and Institutionalization of Leadership Succession in China”

(coauthored with Yang Zhang)

Junyan Jiang

PhD Candidate, Department of Political Science

University of Chicago

5:00-6:30p.m., Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Pick Lounge, 5828 South University Ave.

 

 

Abstract

The ability to conduct regular, peaceful leadership succession is one of the key features that distinguish democracies from autocracies. Yet China is among a handful of authoritarian regimes that have defied this conventional distinction and managed to institutionalize a transition order that has persisted for several decades. What explained its success? We argue that an important contributing factor is the unique practice of “inter-generational power sharing”, in which political power, especially the authority to appoint key personnel, is divided between the outgoing dictator and his successor. We provide a theory of why this arrangement can mitigate the monitoring and credible commitment problems among the elites and develop predictions about the patterns of power sharing that will emerge. Using a large biographical database of Chinese political elites from multiple levels between 2000-2015, we show that outgoing leaders retained strong control over the immediate appointments of top elites (to the Politburo) even after they formally stepped down, whereas the successor’s influence is concentrated at appointing middle- and lower-level elites (at the provincial and deputy provincial levels). Analyses of topic distribution in a dataset of informal conversations further confirm the centrality of personnel matters in elite interactions.

 

 

 

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.

East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society presents

 

“Socialist Feminisms Compared: The Flower Girl and The White-Haired Girl

Suzy Kim

Associate Professor, Department of Asian Languages & Cultures

Rutgers University

4:30-6:00p.m., Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Pick Lounge, 5828 South University Ave.

 

Abstract

Two revolutionary operas from two different contexts staged at different times – The Flower Girl (1972) from North Korea and The White-Haired Girl (1950) from China – have been noted for their similarities in plot. They are both set in the 1930s during the period of anti-imperialist armed struggle against Japan; the major source of conflict, however, is that between landlord and tenants; the main protagonist is a peasant girl whose family is ruined by the landlord; and the resolution to injustice is brought by a liberating army. Despite these similarities, the two female cultural icons offer quite different conceptualizations of gender and women through the protagonist’s rape and subsequent pregnancy in The White-Haired Girl. Through an analysis of this critical difference between the two works, this paper seeks to apprehend the diverse strategies to deal with the ‘woman question’ in socialist China and North Korea and the possibilities opened up by socialist feminisms as varied ways to address the status of women. In doing so, I deliberately challenge simplistic understandings of not only socialism, but more importantly, the socialist woman question, illustrating the extent to which feminism was indeed part of the socialist agenda.

 

Suzy Kim is Associate Professor in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at Rutgers University. She received her PhD in History from the University of Chicago. Her book Everyday Life in the North Korean Revolution, 1945-1950 (Cornell University Press, 2013) was awarded the 2015 James Palais Book Prize. She is currently preparing a monograph on the cultural history of gender formations in North Korea during the Cold War. Her teaching and research interests focus on modern Korean history with particular attention to social and cultural history, gender studies, and critical theory.

 

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.

October 20 Workshop

East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society presents

 

“Chinese Public Attitudes toward the Environment: Patterns and Implications”

Chenyu Qiu and Dali Yang 

PhD Student, Harris School of Public Policy

Professor, Department of Political Science

The University of Chicago

4:30-6:00p.m., Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Pick Lounge, 5828 South University Ave.

 

Abstract

Perhaps no other issue in everyday life has attracted more attention from the Chinese public than air pollution after the 2013 “airpocalypse.” Conventional wisdom, along with theories such as “issue-attention cycle”, would predict an upsurge of public interest in improving the environment in China. Yet the empirical evidence is mixed. Using data from the 2003 and 2013 social surveys, we find only a very modest increase in the percentage of respondents who would put the environment among top three policy priorities. Meanwhile we find a strong contrast in environmental attitudes across income quartiles and believe rising income is the best predictor for changes in environmental concern. We explore the implications of our findings for environmental policy.

 

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.

East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society and

Chicago Chinese Social Sciences Research Group present

 “Competence versus Incentive: Evidence from City Officials in China”

Yang Yao

Professor, National School of Development

Peking University

2015 Dr. Scholl Foundation Visiting Fellow on US-China Relations

 The Chicago Council on Global Affairs

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

Room 122, Social Science Research Building, 1126 E 59th St.

 

Yang Yao is a professor at the China Center for Economic Research (CCER) and the National School of Development (NSD), Peking University. He currently serves as the director of CCER and the dean of NSD. He is a member of the China Finance 40 Forum. His research interests include economic transition and development in China. He has published dozens of research papers in international and domestic journals as well as several books on institutional economics and economic development in China. He is also a prolific writer for magazines and newspapers, including the Financial Times and the Project Syndicate. Dr. Yao was awarded the 2009 Sun Yefang Award in Economic Science, the 2008 and 2010 Pu Shan Award in International Economics and the 2008 Zhang Peigang Award in Development Economics, and was named the Best Teacher by the Peking University Student Union in 2006. Dr Yao obtained a BS in geography in 1986 and an MS in economics in 1989, both from Peking University, and his PhD in development economics from the department of agricultural and applied economics at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1996.

 

Abstract

This paper empirically studies the roles of competence and incentive in affecting the performance of public officials. We aim at answering two questions: Does competence or incentive matter more for economic performance? Do they tend to substitute or complement for each other? Using a unique dataset of Chinese city officials for the period 1994-2011, we estimate each official’s relative level of competence to promote economic growth and identify the effects of incentive using age limits and political cycles for promotion. We find that both competence and incentive matter for officials’ economic performance, but competence explains more than incentive. In addition, incentive matters less for more competent officials. Our results show that competence is more important than incentive to affect politicians’ economic performance.

 

For assistance and inquiries, please contact Yan Xu via xuyan@uchicago.edu or Yinan Su via yns@uchicago.edu.

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