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Title: From coercion to cooperation : inclusion and grassroots political change in urban China
Author: Koldyk , Daniel
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2012
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While the transition from a centrally planned command economy to a decentralized marketbased economy has had a negative impact on the party-state's power, there is ample evidence to indicate that it is not withering away. The most telling example in recent memory is the crackdown against Falun Gong. The party-state's efficient handling of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreaks in 2002/03 and 2003/04 and the one child policy are two more convincing examples. With this in mind, one might expect the party-state to be capable of implementing the shequ jiansbe (community development) policy, a key policy that is fully supported by the entire political apparatus and designed to shore up power at the grassroots level, with relative ease. The research I conducted for this dissertation, which includes 24 months of fieldwork in six urban Chinese centres, provides empirical evidence that this has not been the case in practice. While the shequ jiansbe policy has been successfully implemented in some locations, it has been a resounding failure in others. As such, an interesting paradox exists. It is clear that the party-state continues to rule with remarkable authority; yet, it has not been able to fully implement a policy that acts as a linchpin for its grassroots governance strategy. My research provides new insights into this issue by investigating the extent to which socioeconomic stratification and other variables are responsible for the policy's uneven performance. This is groundbreaking in that there is virtually no systematic research in the Chinese or English language literatures that has investigated how socio-economic stratification is influencing shequ jianshe - a surprising fact considering the saliency of inequality in China today. This dissertation also adopts, and builds on, Kenneth ]owitt's theory of inclusion to extrapolate the wider significance of these findings to the nature and direction of grassroots political change in China.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available