Politics Society-2007-Chen-145-79

Politics Society-2007-Chen-145-79 - Politics & Society...

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http://pas.sagepub.com/ http://pas.sagepub.com/content/35/1/145 The online version of this article can be found at: DOI: 10.1177/0032329206297146 2007 35: 145 Politics Society An Chen Chinese Countryside The Failure of Organizational Control: Changing Party Power in the Published by: http://www.sagepublications.com can be found at: Additional services and information for http://pas.sagepub.com/cgi/alerts Email Alerts: http://pas.sagepub.com/subscriptions Subscriptions: http://www.sagepub.com/journalsReprints.nav Reprints: http://www.sagepub.com/journalsPermissions.nav Permissions: http://pas.sagepub.com/content/35/1/145.refs.html Citations: at UNIV OF TEXAS AUSTIN on August 12, 2011 pas.sagepub.com Downloaded from
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The Failure of Organizational Control: Changing Party Power in the Chinese Countryside AN CHEN As frequent, violent, and organized peasant protests show, China’s reform regime has lost its once all-powerful control in the countryside. The sharp decline of vil- lage cadres’ positional authority in allocating economic resources, which began in post-Mao decollectivization, holds the key to explaining the change. Since the late 1990s, the collapse of village enterprises and the erosion of power over land have cost village cadres their remaining economic levers to engage the villagers as well as their incentives to work for the party-state. The loss of the regime’s grip on village cadres and the loss of command by village cadres on peasants have almost synchronized, causing the traditional structure of organizational control to crumble in vast rural areas. In the new, prevailing patterns of village governance, party power is becoming increasingly irrelevant. Keywords: Chinese politics; rural reform; governance; organizational control; communist party power Contrasting with the moderate means Chinese peasants used to take to lodge complaints, protests in the Chinese countryside have taken on new features since the late 1990s. With multiplying cases of rural unrest, expressions of grievance, anger, and despair among peasants have taken increasingly extreme 145 Many people have helped me in completing this research. I am particularly grateful to Han Rongbin, He Xuefeng, Wang Ximing, Dong Leiming, Lang Youxing, Ma Jinhua, and Zhao Shukai for their contributions. The revisions of this article benefited enormously from the comments offered by the editorial board of . I also thank the National University of Singapore for its two research grants (R-108-000-010-112; R-108-000-018-112) for this project. POLITICS & SOCIETY, Vol. 35 No. 1, March 2007 145-179 DOI: 10.1177/0032329206297146 © 2007 Sage Publications at UNIV OF TEXAS AUSTIN on August 12, 2011 pas.sagepub.com Downloaded from
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forms, evolving from initial peaceful petitioning, demonstrations, and sit-ins to widespread acts of violence. Even more surprising, more and more rural riots are no longer spontaneous or loose but well organized or coordinated by their
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This note was uploaded on 12/03/2011 for the course HISTORY 322D taught by Professor Hunt during the Fall '11 term at University of Texas at Austin.

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Politics Society-2007-Chen-145-79 - Politics & Society...

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