Northwestern Events Calendar


Social Stability and Mutual Noncompliance: Cadre-Villager Bargaining at the Local Level

When: Friday, April 14, 2017
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM Central

Where: Scott Hall, 212, 601 University Place, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Elizabeth Morrissey  

Group: Equality Development and Globalization Studies (EDGS)

Co-Sponsor: Department of Political Science

Category: Lectures & Meetings


EDGS Speaker Series: “Society and Politics in the Asia-Pacific”

Co-sponsored with Political Science and WCAS

John Kennedy, University of Kansas

While reports of local rural protests continued throughout the 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s, the vast majority of villagers did not protest. In fact, most villages were relatively stable. We argue that bargaining between local leaders and villagers contributed to this social stability. We suggest that from the 1980s to the early 2000s both villagers and local officials mutually agreed to not comply with critical policies, such as grain quotas and ‘out of plan births, in return for relative social stability. Rather than selective policy implementation, we suggest that under reporting is a result of explicit bargaining between some villagers and cadres. However, as the demographics change and more people live in urban areas, the relatively tight community that allowed for local leader-villager bargaining is disappearing. This may have implications for future social stability.

John James Kennedy received his Ph.D. at the University of California, Davis in 2002. He is an Associate Professor in the department of Political Science at the University of Kansas (KU), and he is also the Director of the Center for Global and International Studies at KU from 2012-2015. John also served as the president of the Association of Chinese Political Studies (2012-2014). He has consistently returned to China to conduct research on rural politics since 1995, and he is also co-founder of the Northwest Socioeconomic Development Research Center (NSDRC) at Northwest University, Xian, China. In addition, John is a research affiliate with the Rural Education Action Program (REAP) at Stanford University. His research is on local governance and topics include local elections, tax and fee reform, rural education, health care and the cadre management system. He has published research articles in The China Quarterly, Journal of Contemporary China, Asian Survey, the Journal of Chinese Political Science, the Journal of Peasant Studies, Asian Politics and Policy, Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations and Political Studies.

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