China is currently encountering increasing social problems, together with the rise of mass discontent and public protest, despite having achieved enormous economic growth after nearly thirty years of market socialism and embracing globalization. The future of China thus depends not only on the economic progress the nation has achieved - and will achieve - but also on how the government addresses growing social tensions. Focusing on why social tensions have arisen despite economic prosperity and how the state is responding, this book presents rich, original data about many of the social challenges facing China, including rural-urban migration, unemployment, the health care crisis, the rise of religion, the desire for increased individualism, and new mass movements. It investigates governmental responses to deal with the problems including legal and political reforms and local governance innovations, throughout setting the discussion in the context of how far a traditionally ‘socialist’ nation can be integrated into global capitalism. Overall, the book provides a timely, up-to-date, and down-to-earth examination of and reflection on China’s continuing socio-economic and political transition.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements. Biography of Contributors and Editors. 1: Introduction - Helen Lansdowne and Guoguang Wu. 2: Growing Social Unrest in China: Rising Social Discontents and Popular Protests - Chih-jou Jay Chen. 3: Household Registration, Social Exclusion, and Rural Migrants in Cities - Xiaogang Wu. 4: Training the Unemployed to Become Active Job-Seekers in Post-Mao China - Feng Xu. 5: An Institutional Analysis of China’s Failed Healthcare Reform - Yanzhong Huang. 6: China, Christianity and the Global Market of Belief Systems - Carol Lee Hamrin. 7: Super Voice Girls and Freezing Point: Media, Hegemony, and Domination in the New China - Barrett McCormick. 8: Granting or Refusing the Right to Petition: The Dilemma of China’s Xinfang System - Keyuan Zou.
Guoguang Wu holds a chair in China and Asia-Pacific Relations at University of Victoria, Canada, where he also teaches in both departments of political science and history. The author of numerous books, he and Helen Lansdowne have co-edited two other volumes, also published by Routledge: Zhao Ziyang and China’s Political Future and China Turns to Multilateralism: Foreign Policy and Regional Security.
Helen Lansdowne is the Assistant Director at the Centre for Asia-Pacific Initiatives, University of Victoria, Canada. She also lectures in the department of Pacific and Asian Studies at the University of Victoria and in the department of Social Sciences at Camosun College.