Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

Squeezing the Same Old Stone: Suing the Rural Chinese State and the Shift from Tax Reform to Land Seizures

American Political Science Association 2011 Annual Meeting Paper

47 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2011 Last revised: 10 Jan 2015

John Wagner Givens

Asian Studies Center, University of Pittsburgh

Andrew W. MacDonald

University of Louisville - Center for Asian Democracy; University of Oxford - Department of Politics and International Relations

Date Written: February 26, 2013

Abstract

This paper seeks to add to the debate about tactics and grievances in contentious politics by showing that administrative lawsuits are an important venue for redressing and signalling grievances. We show that administrative lawsuits related to land increased while those related to tax decreased in the mid-2000s. These lawsuits reflect underlying changes in extraction behaviour by local officials, as the central government began to limit the power of local governments to collect arbitrary taxes and fees. Local officials, strapped for cash after these reforms, resorted to another form of extraction: the expropriation and sale of land used by peasants. We demonstrate that this shift is evident in the statistical data on administrative litigation and conclude by discussing the importance and value of paying more attention to formal channels of contention in China.

Keywords: state, state-society relations, taxes, protest, land, authoritarian, comparative politics, China, tax-for-fee reform, land seizures, unrest, administrative litigation

Suggested Citation

Givens, John Wagner and MacDonald, Andrew W., Squeezing the Same Old Stone: Suing the Rural Chinese State and the Shift from Tax Reform to Land Seizures (February 26, 2013). American Political Science Association 2011 Annual Meeting Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1911642

John Wagner Givens (Contact Author)

Asian Studies Center, University of Pittsburgh ( email )

4104 Wesley W.Posvar Hall
230 S. Bouquet Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
United States
412-648-7370 (Phone)
412-624-4665 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.ucis.pitt.edu/asc/

Andrew W. MacDonald

University of Louisville - Center for Asian Democracy ( email )

Stevenson Hall, Room 202
University of Louisville
Louisville, KY 40292
United States

University of Oxford - Department of Politics and International Relations ( email )

Manor Road
Oxford, OX1 3UQ
United Kingdom

Paper statistics

Downloads
183
Rank
138,513
Abstract Views
1,182