China and Inner Asia
Session Abstract: This panel examines lesser-known spaces of conflict and contention in the interstices of China’s state-society relations. Looking beyond big clashes and adversarial policy implementation, panelists use a variety of methodological approaches to understand both smaller scale conflicts and the after-effects of state-society contention. In their paper on the pliability of citizenship after coercion, Chan and Han draw from government documents and local news reports to explore what happens to evictees on the urban fringe after forced relocation. Ratigan uses an original survey to parse the gap between villagers’ expectations and village leaders’ views of the state’s role in public goods provision. Scoggins explores lesser-known police-society conflict in her analysis of a new dataset chronicling smaller scale, violent fights between police officers and the public. Finally, Wang and coauthors Zeng and Wan shed light on strategic ambiguity in the judicial system by analyzing a large, original database of judicial cases pertaining to enforcement of the controversial crime of “picking quarrels.” By peering into these lesser studied spaces where authorities and citizens clash, this panel offers new perspectives on the contours of conflict and contention in today’s China.
Paper Presenter: Alexsia Chan – Hamilton College
Paper Presenter: Kerry Ratigan – Amherst College
Paper Presenter: Suzanne Scoggins – Clark University
Paper Presenter: Qingyan Wang – University of Georgia