The Politics of Lodging Complaints in Rural China
China Quarterly, No. 143, pp. 756-83 September 1995
28 Pages Posted: 14 Apr 2008
Interviews and archival research on the dynamics of cadre-mass contention show that lodging complaints is a common (and potentially effective) way for Chinese villagers to defy grassroots leaders. Even without meaningful democratization, structural changes in mass-elite relations enable villagers to resist arbitrary, predatory, and highhanded official behavior. Village cadres, who previously had enormous discretion, are increasingly frequently challenged by villagers who live outside communes and travel widely to market, who hear about defiance elsewhere, and who use the cadre responsibility system, village charters, the Organic Law of Villagers' Committees, and the Administrative Litigation Law to defend and advance their interests.
Keywords: China, protest, contention, letters and visits, petitioning, conflict
JEL Classification: K40, P30, P33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation