Social Science Events & Activities

Seminar
The Craze of Moutai Liquor, the Transformation of a Symbol of State Power in Contemporary China (Tuesday 18 May 2021)

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.

Speaker(s)
Mr. Ai LIN
Date
May 18, 2021 (Tuesday)
Time
2:30 pm
Venue
The presentation will be conducted via ZOOM
Language
English
Remarks
Meeting ID: 913 3525 4229 and Passcode: 231341

Seminar
The Historical Origins of Long-Surviving Military Regimes: the Mode of Decolonization, Legitimacy Advantage, and Path Dependency (Friday 14 May 2021)

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(jyhong@ust.hk)

Speaker(s)
Prof. Yuko Kasuya
Professor, Department of Political Science, Faculty of Law, Keio University & Prof. Masaaki Higashijima- Associate Professor, Political Science in the Graduate School of Information Sciences, Tohoku University
Date
May 14, 2021 (Friday)
Time
HKT 10:00 -11:30am/ JST 11:00-12:30pm
Venue
Online Via Zoom

Seminar
Surveillance by Consent: Consequences of the Social Credit System for Political Support in China (Wednesday 5 May 2021)

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(jameskalei@ust.hk)

Speaker(s)
Dr. Ting LUO
Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) of Political Communication, Manchester Metropolitan University
Date
May 5, 2021 (Wednesday)
Time
HKT3:30 -5:00PM / BST8:30-10:00AM
Venue
Online Via Zoom
Remarks
This seminar is for students, staff and faculty only.