Abstract: A dramatic wave of Moutai liquor consumption craze has swept across a broad social spectrum in China in the past decade or so. The transformation of Moutai liquor as a dominant symbol of state power in the craze provides a unique entry point to observe the evolving state and people relations. Through multi-sited ethnographic studies on the craze, the paper probes into dynamic interactions within complex state institutions as well as in-between state and people. It showcases a much more complex paradigm of reach of the state and agency of the people. When the market economy takes up the major role and liquor supplies and consumptions are no longer bounded by the state as before, Chinese people end up binding with the state in a stronger sense. Moutai liquor has become a convenient and popular medium for people to connect with the state. It highlights the state’s central position in the structure, while the people are looking up to, reaching out to, and taping into it. Hence, Chinese people’s agency lies not in their endeavors to deconstruct the state power but to get along with the state system by getting within it. The state and people interactions here is not a pair of inverse relationship. The study aims to contribute to the studies of symbol transformation and state governance.
Abstract Why are some military regimes short-lived, while others remain in power for decades? While the conventional wisdom is that military rules survive shorter than the other types of autocracies, there is significant durational variation among the military dictatorships. Employing the critical juncture framework, this paper argues that the mode of decolonization influences the duration of military rule: military regimes tend to survive longer when armed rebels led the country’s independence than when civilian leaders peacefully negotiated the independence. We empirically examine our claim by combining cross-national analyses with an originally created data set and the case study of military regimes in Myanmar and Pakistan. Bio Yuko Kasuya is Professor of Political Science at the Department of Political Science, the Faculty of Law, Keio University, Japan. Her research interests include regime transition, political institutions, Southeast Asia (especially the Philippines), and East Asia (especially Japan). She is the author of Comparative Politics (Minerva Publishing, in Japanese, 2014) and Presidential Bandwagon: Parties and Party Systems in the Philippines (Anvil, 2008). Her articles can be found in journals such as Electoral Studies, The Pacific Affairs, and Party Politic, among others. She holds a Ph.D. in International Affairs from the University of California, San Diego, an M.A. in Development Studies from the Institute of Social Studies (Netherlands), and a B.A. in Law from Keio University. She is vice president of the International Political Science Association from 2018 to 2021, and V-Dem East Asia Regional Center’s founding director since 2019. Her current projects concern democratic backsliding in Asia. Masaaki Higashijima is Associate Professor of Political Science in the Graduate School of Information Sciences at Tohoku University, Japan. His research interests include comparative political economy, autocratic politics, ethnic politics, and Central Asia. His articles appeared in British Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, Political Behavior, and World Development. His first book, the Dictator’s Dilemma at the Ballot Box, is forthcoming at the University of Michigan Press (Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies Series). His research was funded by numerous grants such as those of the US National Science Foundation, Fulbright Commission, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, and Suntory Foundation. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Michigan State University. Host: Prof Jean Hong(email@example.com)
Abstract Authoritarian regimes engage in control and surveillance to stabilise their rule. As a front runner in innovating digital solutions to maintain security, China’s social credit system promotes the establishment of a massive scheme tracking and surveilling personal data nationwide among the largest population in the world. What are the consequences of these changes for government support? Based on the first nationally representative survey oversampling urban Chinese Internet users, we find that Chinese citizens are surprisingly supportive of the central government managing their personal data as part of the social credit system. People who express concern for privacy and protect privacy more strongly on their smartphones are more sceptical of the central government. However, these findings heavily depend on lower levels of digitisation: residents of communities that are more strongly immersed in Internet commerce or subject to intense electronic surveillance by public security agencies, which increased investment in local digitisation, experience the benefits of digitisation, which mitigates privacy concerns. These findings highlight the importance of community-level factors in conditioning the relationship between privacy concerns and political support. Bio Dr Ting Luo is Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) of Political Communication at Manchester Metropolitan University. Her current research focuses on the impact of digital development on governance and political participation in authoritarian regimes. Her research interests include comparative politics, digital politics, elections and democratisation, and Chinese politics. She holds a PhD in government from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Before joining MMU, she was a post-doctoral fellow at Leiden University and the Hertie School in Berlin as part of a European-Research-Council-funded research project, “Authoritarianism 2.0: The Internet, Political Discussion, and Authoritarian Rule in China”. Host: Prof James WONG(firstname.lastname@example.org)
A text can be a poem, a novel, a painting, a chair, or a garden. When does the reading of a text begin, and where does it cease? In this digital age, does “mining” of texts reveal reading possibilities that are otherwise hidden? Bringing in texts of various kinds from late imperial China, this conference hopes to form an interdisciplinary discussion on recent discoveries of new texts, rereadings of canonical texts, expanded concept of texts, and on renewed approaches in exploring the meaning of text(s). Program: 7:30 a.m.—8:20 a.m. Keynote speech Professor Ellen B. Widmer (Wellesley College) 8:30 a.m.—10:30 a.m. Conference presentation Professor Xiaoqiao Ling (Arizona State University) Professor Paul Vierthaler (The College of William & Mary) Professor Huan Jin (The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology) Professor Binbin Yang (The University of Hong Kong)
Abstract The rise of the “alt-right” (alternative right) is not unique to the West. There is also a significant presence of racist, misogynistic, and Islamophobic discourse on Chinese social media. This study follows a mixed-methods approach combining topic modeling, social network analysis, and discourse analysis to analyze the discursive and network structure of an online Chinese alt-right community on Weibo. We summarize the topics Chinese alt-right influencers discuss and examine how these topics are interrelated. We find that the Chinese alt-right discourse can be deemed as both an extension and localization of the global alt-right: they frequently discuss global alt-right issues and also hold alt-right ideologies on domestic issues. Meanwhile, influencers in the community are densely connected, suggesting a high level of coordination and cooperation. These findings provide insights into the transnational aspect of the rise of global alt-right. Bio Kecheng FANG (方可成) is an Assistant Professor at the School of Journalism and Communication, the Chinese University of Hong Kong. His research interests include journalism, political communication, and digital media. He received his Ph.D. degree from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. Before joining academia, he worked as a political journalist at the Chinese newspaper Southern Weekly. His work has appeared in New Media & Society, Information, Communication & Society, International Journal of Press/Politics, China Quarterly, Journal of Contemporary China, among others. Host: Prof Jean Hong(email@example.com)