Political Culture and Participation in Rural China: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Political Culture and Participation in Rural China

1st Edition

By Yang Zhong


134 pages

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Despite China’s rapid urbanisation and industrialisation, most Chinese still live in the vast countryside or have rural household registration. Although there was significant economic improvement in rural areas in the 1980s, the rural economy has been stagnating or deteriorating since then, and the book argues that the rural-urban income gap is giving rise to the potential for political instability throughout China. This book, based on extensive original research including interview fieldwork in rural areas, examines the nature of political culture and participation in rural China, discussing issues such as the support, or lack of it, for democratic values; levels of political interest; the ways in which Chinese peasants interact with village and local officials; subjective factors that motivate them to vote, (or not to vote) in village elections; and rural people’s views on market-oriented economic reforms, local and national government, and the Communist Party. The book argues that although hitherto peasants’ riots, sit-ins and demonstrations have been localised and uncoordinated, they are frequent, and have the potential to cause serious political crises for China’s rulers. It concludes by considering the future political development of China’s vast countryside.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. Core Democratic Values and Orientations 3. Support for Market Economy 4. Levels of Political Interest 5. Political Legitimacy and Popular Support 6. To Vote or Not To Vote in Village Elections 7. Do Village Cadres and Villagers Think Alike?

About the Author

Yang Zhong is Professor of Political Science at the University of Tennessee, USA, and a Changjiang Scholar at School of International and Public Affairs of Shanghai Jiao Tong University. He is the author of Local Government and Politics in China: Challenges from Below.

About the Series

China Policy Series

With the rise of China and its impact on the world, interest in China has increased drastically in recent years. This series focuses on policy-oriented research and scholarly works with policy implications, on all aspects of contemporary Chinese economy, politics, society, environment, journalism and cultures.  It also covers China’s foreign relations with major international organizations such as the United Nations, World Trade Organization, and World Bank, and major powers such as the United States, European Union (and its member states), Japan and others.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Human Geography
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies