9780521861311

Rightful Resistance in Rural China

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780521861311

  • ISBN10:

    0521861314

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2006-02-13
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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Summary

How can the poor and weak 'work’ a political system to their advantage? Drawing mainly on interviews and surveys in rural China, Kevin O'Brien and Lianjiang Li show that popular action often hinges on locating and exploiting divisions within the state. Otherwise powerless people use the rhetoric and commitments of the central government to try to fight misconduct by local officials, open up clogged channels of participation, and push back the frontiers of the permissible. This 'rightful resistance’ has far-reaching implications for our understanding of contentious politics. As O'Brien and Li explore the origins, dynamics, and consequences of rightful resistance, they highlight similarities between collective action in places as varied as China, the former East Germany, and the United States, while suggesting how Chinese experiences speak to issues such as opportunities to protest, claims radicalization, tactical innovation, and the outcomes of contention.

Table of Contents

Preface xi
1 RIGHTFUL RESISTANCE 1(24)
Rightful Resistance in Rural China
5(10)
Comparative Perspectives
15(10)
2 OPPORTUNITIES AND PERCEPTIONS 25(25)
Understanding Opportunities
25(1)
A Preview of the Argument
26(1)
A Structural Opening
27(4)
Crosscurrents: Obstacles to Mobilization
31(7)
Perceptions of Opportunity
38(10)
Conclusion
48(2)
3 BOUNDARY-SPANNING CLAIMS 50(17)
Unpacking the State
51(3)
Pressing for Accountability
54(9)
Payoffs
63(4)
4 TACTICAL ESCALATION 67(28)
Three Variants of Direct Action
69(7)
How New?
76(1)
How Widespread?
77(2)
Origins of Direct Tactics
79(9)
Who Innovates?
88(3)
Some Implications
91(4)
5 OUTCOMES 95(21)
Thinking about Consequences
95(2)
An Interactive Approach to Outcomes
97(2)
Consequences of Contention
99(13)
Understanding Outcomes
112(2)
A Note on Variation
114(2)
6 IMPLICATIONS FOR CHINA 116(15)
Citizenship
116(7)
Political Change
123(8)
Interviewee List 131(4)
Appendix A: Who Leads Rightful Resistance? 135(4)
Appendix B: Sources 139(1)
Survey Samplings 139(1)
Written Materials and Interviews 140(3)
Bibliography 143(26)
Index 169

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