Practicing Citizenship in Contemporary China: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Practicing Citizenship in Contemporary China

1st Edition

Edited by Sophia Woodman, Zhonghua Guo


128 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9781138333000
pub: 2018-08-21

FREE Standard Shipping!


This book examines citizenship as practiced in China today from a variety of angles. Citizenship in China—and elsewhere in the Global South—has often been perceived as either a distorted echo of the ‘real’ democratic version in Europe and North America, or an orientalized ‘other’ that defines what citizenship is not. By contrast, this book sees Chinese citizenship as an aspect of a connected modernity that is still unfolding. The book focuses on three key tensions: a state preference for sedentarism and governing citizens in place vs. growing mobility, sometimes facilitated by the state; a perception that state-building and development requires a strong state vs. ideas and practices of participatory citizenship; and submission of the individual to the ‘collective’ (state, community, village, family, etc.) vs. the rising salience of conceptions of self-development and self-making projects. Examining manifestations of these tensions can contribute to thinking about citizenship beyond China, including the role of the local in forming citizenship orders; how individualization works in the absence of liberal individualism; and how ‘social citizenship’ is increasingly becoming a reward to ‘good citizens’, rather than a mechanism for achieving citizen equality. This book was originally published as a Special Issue of the journal Citizenship Studies.

Table of Contents

Introduction - Introduction: practicing citizenship in contemporary China Sophia Woodman and Zhonghua Guo

1. Legitimating exclusion and inclusion: ‘culture’, education and entitlement to local urban citizenship in Tianjin and Lanzhou Sophia Woodman

2. Differentiating citizenship in urban China: a case study of Dongguan city Zhonghua Guo and Tuo Liang

3. Citizenship education as NGO intervention: turning migrant children in Shanghai into ‘new citizens’ Yihan Xiong and Miao Li

4. Practicing democratic citizenship in an authoritarian state: grassroots self-governance in urban China Ying Xia and Bing Guan

5. Learning to be safe citizens: state-run boarding schools and the dynamics of Tibetan identity Miaoyan Yang

6. Eating the rice bowl of youth: xiaojies’ everyday self-practices as doing citizenship from the margins Yu Ding

About the Editors

Sophia Woodman is a Chancellor’s Fellow in Sociology in the School of Social and Political Science at the University of Edinburgh, UK. Her research interests include citizenship, human rights and social movements in contemporary China; political sociology and social movements, particularly transnational movements; constitutionalism, law, politics and governance in modern China and beyond; and gender and the state.

Zhonghua Guo is a Professor of Politics at the School of Government at Sun Yat-Sen University, China, and a Research Fellow at the Sun Yat-Sen Chinese Public Management Research Center, China. His research interests include political science theory and Chinese government and politics.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General