Key Theories/analytic distinctions and arguments

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  1. Ren’s discussion of causes and impact of the “urban bias” and “urban turn” after 1990 in policy making
    top of pg 8-- there was an urban turn in the early 1990s in state development policies , evidenced by the massive investment in urban regions, strong intervention by local governments in the micro management of economic affairs, and tax policy favoring foreign and state owned enterprises while discriminating against domestic, private, and rural entrepreneurship. p. 29: With the development of Special Economic Zones a success, the central government designated more areas as open cities. By the end of the 90s, SEZs have mushroomed across the country, shifting priorities to urban areas. As China became increasingly integrated into the world economy in the 90s,pg. 7--Ren uses Huang to argue that the Shanghai model of growth (an example of the “urban turn”) is expensive and leads to sharp social inequality. Shanghai’s GDP increased dramatically compared to the national mean, but average household income did not change much. Amid all the growth in Shanghai, the poor have been getting poorer.-JF
  2. Ren’s argument about how the city has become “strategic ground for reassembling citizen rights.” - Allen (Ren Preface)
    Pg. xiv “While working and living in the city, rural migrants do not have the same entitlements as their urban counterparts, and this disparity is especially felt by the second-generation migrants who grew up in cities, have no experience in farming, and see themselves as urbanites. In recent years, the sharp inequality has triggered widespread protests, with peasants contesting their land being taken away, middle-class homeowners protesting encroachments on their rights, and workers mobilizing for better wages and treatment, Thus, the new Chinese city has become a strategic site where citizen rights are being reformulated.” Inequality is visible and widespread in cities.
  3. Ren’s use of Harvey’s critique of neoliberalism as “accumulation by dispossession- Lucy
    (Ren CH1)p. 3 “Neoliberalism refers to the political economic proposition that individual freedom and well-being can be best achieved by free markets, free trade, and private property rights, and that the role of the state is to provide institutional frameworks to facilitate free markets and trade and to protect private properties and profit-making activities.”p. 5 “He further argues that the market reform in China exemplifies a process of “accumulation by disposition”- of farmers, urban workers, and migrants- and reconstitutes class power, as evidence by the sharp increase in income inequality, just like that in the US, the UK, and Latin America.”Neoliberalism doesn’t explain how China’s economy grew while other countries that were also neoliberalized, (Brazil, India, and Russia) hadn’t grown at the same pace. Many promoters of the free market (World Bank, IMF) believe that neoliberal policies (more open market) will lead to benefits for the masses. However, inequality in China has increased, not decreased with the expansion of the market.-China’s success is attributed to the worldwide trend of neoliberalization that allowed China to be integrated into the world economy.-JFAccumulation by dispossession: Gathering of wealth by relieving others of their possessions. ex: land grabs
  4. Ren’s summary of Arrighi’s explanation of  “China’s ascent.”- Lucy
    p. 5 Arrighi listed 2 conditions that led to China’s economic ascent. 1. China’s legacy of socialism: Socialism has delivered high literacy rates, good education, and long life expectancy. China’s workforce was healthy and well educated. 2. Early successes in Township and Village Enterprise (TVE) laid a foundation for the economic take-off. Farmers with rural hukous were allowed to work in TVEs, which helped to absorb China’s surplus of labor, industrialize and urbanize the countryside, and raise living standards-While Harvey falls into the camp that Chinese reform fits into the larger trend of worldwide neoliberalization, Arrighi falls into the other that attributes the growth to socialist legacies and post-socialist institutional arrangements. Basically Harvey and Arrighi exemplify two contrasting views at why China reformed and why it was so successful, but they compliment each other by showing the full picture of Chinese reform.-JF
  5. Significance of  fig 1.1 (p.10) , fig 1.2(p.13), and tables 1.3, 1.4and 1.5 in Ren and (non)role of primate cities- Lucy
    table 1.1: China’s GDP growth rates (1978-2010): China has sustained a steady GDP growth since 1978 at around 10% a year, the highest in the world. China’s GDP has risen to 4,837 per person in 2010, 79 times the amount in 1978. table 1.2: Share’s of GDP growth for primary, secondary, and tertiary industries: China’s GDP growth has been primarily in secondary (manufacturing) and tertiary (white collar) industries, rather than primary (agricultural). - fig1.1: Urban population shares in the national population: In 2010, half of China’s population is living in cities compared to in 1949 when only 10% lived in cities. However, no two censuses have used the same definition for what is considered an “urban area”. - fig 1.2: Map of major urban areas: China’s most developed urban regions, all along the East coast (Beijing-Tianjin area, Tangshan, Yangtze River Delta, and Pearl River delta) have gained the most population, with smaller cities growing the fastest. - table 1.3: Number of cities in different size categories, 1995-2009: The categories are rendered obsolete as cities of all sizes continued to grow. “In 1981, there were 18 Chinese cities with a population of over 1 million. By 2009, there were 129 cities…” p.11“As large cities continue to grow, medium-sized and small cities have boomed too, resulting in a relatively even pattern of city-size distribution.” p. 11- table 1.4: Largest cities in 1981 and 2010: Most of the cities that were on the list in 1981 are still on the list in 2010. However, the population of most cities tripled from 1981 to 2010.- table 1.5: Changes in the number of Chinese cities, 1981-2009: p. 14 “Thus, between 1978-2000, the country more than tripled its number of officially designated cities… the addition of new cities has mostly occurred in the more developed coastal regions.”Many counties have been reclassified as cities. Prefecture-level cities: cities with districtscounty-level cities: cities without districtsThe main takeaway from this chart is that the number of Chinese cities grew exponentially during this period.-pg.15-In Chinese history, never was a “primate city” one that concentrated the majority of national economic activities and resources. Economic integration advanced around urban centers in several regions, preventing any one of them from becoming nationally dominant. Colonial penetration (which is often a major factor in producing a primate city) was reduced in the Chinese case.-JF
  6. Distinction (as highlight by Feng Wang and flagged by Ren) “between group” vs. “within group” inequality
    between group inequality - members of group A are more likely to do well than members of group B. Think urban vs. rural, Han vs Uighur or Tibetan minority, things like advantages in educational opportunities, companies run by princelings vs companies run by regular citizens. The kind of inequality people get mad about. within-group inequality - as the playing field is ‘leveled,’ this type of inequality is viewed as more ideal. Within groups with equal footing education-, income-wise, differences in talent, ambition, and work ethic among members will lead to stratification. Again, a transition from between-group to within-group inequality is viewed as favorable because it means the eradication of systemic inequalities and the achievement of an ‘American-dream’ type of ‘we all have a fair shot’ equality of opportunity but still not necessarily of outcome. - MackPage 169 (Ren): “In the next decade, we may witness more within-group inequality than before, as individual attributes are rewarded differentially.” Within-group inequality is preferred. In China, within-group inequality is widening.
  7. Distinction made between rights-based vs. interest-based resistance or mobilization (used by Ren) to discuss  the “individualization of collective problems.”
    (Ren 134) “Rights-based” resistance among workers means that workers stage protests or seek legal means to assert their rights as already guaranteed by the law, rather than making new demands which is “interest-based” resistance. Ex: labor protests asked employers to pay delayed wages, instead of demanding higher wages. Increasingly, laborers are making more rights-based claims and it’s developed into “individualization of collective problems.” Workers are encouraged by the government to seek legal means or use the bureaucratic system to fight for their individual rights - to better working conditions/wages- instead of collective rights, which significantly constrains potential of labor movements. - Anna rights: what you already have and protected by the law (ex. delayed wages)interest based: what we want but don’t have (ex. freedom of speech, higher wages)individualization of collective problems: individuals take to court on their own; diminish protests
  8. “big push industrialization ‘”( Naughton)
    • Socialist economic policies from 1949-78 that “gave priority to channeling the maximum feasible investment into heavy industry” (Naughton, 55), using the Soviet Union as a model. Rather than implementing labor-intensive industry that would leverage their large population, there was a tremendous amount of investment (80%), controlled by the government, in factories producing industrial materials, like machinery, metals, and chemicals. Development of “strategic industry” (i.e. those most connected to other industries) reinforced the national strategy of self-reliance and self-sufficiency; this resulted in slow growing household income and economic self-containment. Davis describes it as “industrialization with suppressed consumption.” Led to 3 Ds (demonetization, decommodification, decapitalization), government had total control. Contrast to Hong Kong, Taiwan. Unnatural way to grow the market. Weren’t focusing on developing a consumer based market. Heavy industry was emphasized instead; enabled strict government control.
    • Demonetization: Prices don’t matter
    • Decommodification: No commodities to buy
    • Decapitalization:
  9. “industrialization without urbanization” (Ren  and Naughton)
    lots of investment in industrial cities, but no culture, no consumer, dilapidated. Took place during the mao eraLucy- Ren: The communist revolution has a clear anti-urban bias as Mao himself disliked large cities. Cities were seen as sites for industrial production rather than for consumption and developing service industries. To avoid the costs of urbanization, the size of cities were strictly controlled during the socialist years. Industrialization was emphasized. Resources were not invested in cities but rather revenue from cities were taken and invested into the countryside. “Chinese society was aggravated by the state priorities of industrialization and the suppression of urbanization, and later was institutionalized with the hukou regime.” (Ren 25) Significance: Development in this era was stifled by this policy. China’s cities fell behind as they weren’t allowed to innovate and develop, but rather became production centers for China’s heavy industries. Naughton:  Big push industrialization: top heavy industrialization to develop heavy industries rather than developing urban areas
  10. “urbanization  from below” (Ma and Cui in Ren) (Page 25)
    Ma and Cui’s description of the TVEs. In the 1980s urbanization took the form of rural industrialization through TVEs. by 1984 peoples communes had been completely abolished. Significance: Precursor to the rapid urbanization and globalization of the 1990s -Opposite of industrialization w/o urbanizationex. button town
  11. local state corporatism  (Oi in Ren) , (Page 26)
    • The relationship between local governments and business. In context, Ren uses Oi to explain that TVEs were closely connected with local governments. and that “it was common for government officials to serve as managers and executives in [the] rural enterprises.” The future of the local official in the CCP depended on how the TVEs under their jurisdiction did. This provided incentive for them to be directly involved with the TVEs.  I’M NOT TALKING BECAUSE WE’RE PAST THIS
    • TVE only refers to location, not ownership structure. SOE refers to ownership structure.
  12. “city-centered urbanization” (Lin in Ren)
    In the beginning of the 1990s urbanization transitioned to the cities. There was large-scale capital investments flowing into urban areas.Lucy: First, the government created Special Economic Zones which were a huge success. This shift was the result of China’s increased integration into the world economy, decentralization, and foreign investment pouring into urban areas. In 1991, Shanghai was designated to be China’s primary global city and financial center and received a lot of investment. The transformation of Shanghai is a clear result of urban-centered policies.
  13. “urban entrepreneurialism”
    a shift in urban governance from processes concerned mostly with the provision of services to those concerned with economic development Ren Pg. 34, (Sherril)
  14. “territorialization of the state” (Ren)
    • Lucy: p. 35“ Urban governance in today’s China is characterized by the territorialization of the state- a process in which power is shifted from central ministries in Beijing to territorial authorities at different scales. Among the different scales, the urban scale- that of cities and city-regions- has gained the most power at the expense of rural counties.”
    • -Both central and local authorities have strengthened their capacity to govern through territorialization of the state.
    • Basically decentralization
  15. “bottom heavy economy” (Naughton)
    • Household-based economy, emphasis on final products for businesses and consumers (in contrast to the “top,” which consists of natural resources and materials).China moved from a bottom-heavy economy (pre communist era? yep) to top-heavy (big push industrialization), now moving back to bottom-heavy economy
    • Top: natural resources that feed into machinery industries
  16. Wu’s “differential citizenship’, “alienated nationals”  and distinctions between “citizen, denizens, transients, and ghosts”
    Wu argues that inequality in China is based on a government-backed system of “differential citizenship” wherein different people are allotted different rights, privileges, and opportunities based on their hukou and residence status, which makes inequality there fundamentally different than it is/has been in the western experience (Sam)Differential citizenship—segmented and differentiated allocation of citizens’ rights and entitlements according to birthplace, hukou, and employment status; both a pre-condition and by-product of development towards capitalism (used by state/local governments and beneficiaries of urban regime against influx of peasant workers caused by aggressive globalization)Alien nationals: new category in hukou system for migrant peasant workers without urban resident rightsCitizen vs. denizen vs. transient vs. ghost             Urban citizen: the small select group with urban citizenship constituting core of urban hukou (along with native residents). Includes: immigrants officially employed in urban state danwei and with hukou transferred to the host city; people whose parents were sent from city to countryside during the Cultural Revolution and can claim “returnee” status; people with high skill or special talent who can be “naturalized.”             Urban denizen: Limited freedoms and social welfare benefits and fluid, vulnerable status keep formal citizenship valuable unlike in Europe and North America. Includes: non-native, temporary urban employees; hukou residents; residence permit holders.             Legal transient: Legal “guest workers” generally defined by possession of temporary residence status, which has growing significance (legal status now offers some small protections like social security; education for migrants’ children now compulsory)             Ghost workers: unregistered migrant workers, “invisible” in administrative systems; rapidly industrializing regions especially in South China have high proportions (e.g., 75% of Dongguan City’s population came from the outside, and less than half of the total migrant population was registered); play major role in industrial development; vulnerable to exploitation (sherril)
  17. Marshall’s distinction between civil, political, and social rights
    Civil Rights: Rights necessary for individual freedom (i.e. personal liberties, property rights, and the right to due process of law)Political rights: Right to participate in the exercise of political power (i.e. rights to vote and be elected to public office)Social rights: Economic welfare, employment, etc. “Marshall spoke of the development of civil, political, and social citizenship as an evolutionary sequence. The rights embodied in the first pointed to those of the second, and the second to the third. Each, in succession, was secured over the three centuries following the 1688 Revolution (when constitutional monarchy was established).”
  18. Landry et al.’s distinction between substantive and procedural democracy
    Procedural democracy type of governance in which voters elect officials, thus reinforcing their loyalty to the government by giving them the impression that they have influence, but in reality voters have very little influence,  China has some aspects of procedural democracies in its rural elections. Substantive a focus on democratic ends, not just democratic processes. Driven by a sort of cynicism (accurate) that true ‘procedural’ democracy can be occasionally unjust. Certain laws exist that cannot be overridden by majority rule. We have it in the USA - a supreme court to decide impartially whether it’s okay to follow majority opinion in some cases. - MackNOT SURE OF RELEVANCE TO CHINA - FEEL FREE TO ADD…From “Elections in Rural China”If the critics of procedural democracy are correct, the existence of limited competition will not by itself be sufficient to elicit voter interest. In the absence of institutional restraints on the ruling party and without multiple parties or democratic culture, authoritarian regimes will tolerate local elections simply because they are able to manipulate them.
  19. Nathan’s argument about authoritarian resilience and emphasis on institutionalization
    Basic idea is that traditional regime theory holds that authoritarian governments are fragile as a result of weak legitimacy, over-reliance on coercion, overcentralization, and the predominance of personal power over institutional norms (i.e., the will of individual actors in government tends to be more important than whatever the official rules are--for example a top leader might refuse to step down when his term is up), and many political scientists expect China’s government to fall at some point as a result--but it hasn’t. Nathan argues that “institutionalization,” the idea that behavior is effectively constrained by formal and informal rules, is at the heart of this. The regime has been resilient in its capacity to adapt to challenges and continually enforce this type of institutionalization, specifically in the form of “increasingly norm-bound succession politics,” political promotions based on merit, differentiated and specialized institutions within the regime, and means of public political participation that placate citizens and strengthen the government’s legitimacy. Nathan argues that because of this, a transition to democracy is not inevitable. -Samex. government officials step down after their terms, religious institution
  20. Brodsgaard’s integrated fragmentation
    Integrated fragmentation posits that “leaders of bureaucracies try to maximize their own organization’s interests, and in doing so, seek to promote their own organization's “health”, in terms of budget, independence, size, etc. Thus bureaucratic agencies influence policy outcome.” Brodsgaard argues that Chinese business groups have grown into huge enterprises that possess significant economic/political clout (essentially their own bureaucracy group) and even though they are integrated into the system via co-optation (see Dickson), they contribute to government fragmentation in that they can “obstruct the creation of new ministries and regulatory commissions that would otherwise limit their powers.” (Anna)
  21. Kraus’s idea of “hegemony lite”  (as used in ppt  Oct 28)
    Hegemony lite because it’s control through fear. Strategic control of artists, similar to anaconda in the chandelier State no longer has sole patronage over the arts, as it must now fight for cultural hegemony with the commercial market that it opened up. Ex: political pop, performance art, synthesis. Govt stepping back from direct control (i.e. hegemony), but control is now indirect. Transition out of the cultural revolution
  22. Balzano’s distinction between laws that serve as an administrative tool to promote stability from laws that advance natural rights  and legal protections
    Argues that future law and regulations will most likely be an administrative tool to promote stability in the gay community, rather than being the product of discourse on the natural rights/legal protections for the gay community. During Socialist era, CCP tried to create classless society through laws/movement that advanced natural rights and legal protections. However, after cultural revolution, policy and law recognized necessary inequality and switched to making laws that would ensure that economic inequalities not result in an inharmonious society. Thus, the law acts as a tool to protect certain groups to prevent them from becoming destabilizing forces. Ex: government supports policies to reduce costs of education on rural residents to decrease large scale demonstrations in rural areas.
  23. Farrer’s use of code, institutions and context to explain how to understand how sexual norms and behavior have changed over past 30 years.
    Code: Maoist-era policies attacked extramarital ideas as a betrayal of revolutionary ideas but in post-Mao fiction/non-fiction journals was the revival of an ethical code of “romantic feelings” which justified extramarital affairs.
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Key Theories/analytic distinctions and arguments
Descriptions/analysis of key/big ideas from the semester
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