Three years into the regime led by Xi Jinping, China faces new challenges from both within the state apparatus and the society. As economic and some degree of political reforms continue, the state needs to manage resentment and criticism from both the winners and losers of the processes, ranging from the urban rich to the rural poor, from the social elites to the marginalized. New empirical research needs to examine and identify what remains unchanged (i.e., continuity) and what has significantly changed (i.e., innovation and disruption) in both the state’s social control and societal autonomy and. The state has changed the ways in social control such as inviting leading businessmen and women to join local People’s Consultative Conference or even local Communist Party organs have proved to be effective in easing social contention. However, new types of mass based social resistance facilitated by new communication technologies and activism networks and other forms of social instability pose potentially fundamental challenges to Xi’s rule.
The workshop intends to discuss fresh data from the field and whether they might point at new directions of research in China studies. The substantive focus is on the dynamic interface between the CCP state and the increasingly diversifying Chinese society. The papers each address the highly dynamic nature of state-society contention, cooptation and cooperation in respective fields, and identify the emerging and innovative mechanisms that are employed by either the state, or society, or both to introduce changes, and influence others.
Organised by China Programme, IDSS and RSIS Events Unit.