Senior Lecturer in Chinese Politics, SOAS, University of London
“Theatres of Land Reform: Repertoire and Campaign in Su’nan and Taiwan, 1950-53″
(co-sponsored with East Asia: Politics, Economy, and Society workshop)
4-6 pm, March 27 (Tuesday)
Location: Pick Hall Lounge
Abstract: Although scholars have been reluctant to directly compare the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of China on Taiwan, in the early to mid 1950s, these two consolidating party-states had far more in common than is generally supposed. For both,the pursuit of land reform was key to the regime consolidation and perceived legitimacy of the regime. For both land reform was a signature policy and was implemented as a campaign by which each regime fundamentally reordered relations economic and political relations in the countryside. This article explores a range of surprising similarities as well as points of divergence. It focusses in particular on the ways in which land reform campaigns were organized, justified and pursued, the ways in which particular pre-existing rhetorics and repertoires were invoked, the ways in which large numbers were mobilized in support of the campaign, and the specific “theatres” in which the power of state mandated land reform was displayed.