Books

01.27.20

The Art of Political Control in China

Daniel C. Mattingly
Cambridge University Press: When and why do people obey political authority when it runs against their own interests to do so? This book is about the channels beyond direct repression through which China’s authoritarian state controls protest and implements ambitious policies from sweeping urbanization schemes that have displaced millions to family planning initiatives like the one-child policy. Daniel C. Mattingly argues that China’s remarkable state capacity is not simply a product of coercive institutions such as the secret police or the military. Instead, the state uses local civil society groups as hidden but effective tools of informal control to suppress dissent and implement far-reaching policies.Drawing on evidence from qualitative case studies, experiments, and national surveys, the book challenges the conventional wisdom that a robust civil society strengthens political responsiveness. Surprisingly, it is communities that lack strong civil society groups that find it easiest to act collectively and spontaneously resist the state.{chop}

China’s Propagandists Wanted a Hero. ‘Frost Boy’ Fit the Bill.

Javier C. HernáNdez
New York Times
His frazzled face, rosy cheeks and icy hair lit up the internet. Now Wang Fuman, the 8-year-old Chinese student known as Frost Boy, is taking on a new role: propaganda star.

Chinese boy with frozen hair reignites poverty debate

BBC
An eight-year-old Chinese pupil, dubbed "Ice Boy" by social media users after images emerged of him arriving at school with swollen hands and frost on his hair and eyebrows, has sparked renewed discussion online about child poverty...

China's Cricket Catchers Cashing in on Insects That Can Float Like a Butterfly and Sting Like a Bee

Mandy Zuo
South China Morning Post
An annual cricket craze is sweeping a rural area of east China as demand for the leaping insects soars among “trainers” who use them for fighting and gambling, online media reported.

After Toiling in Rural China, ProtéGé of Xi Jinping Joins Party's Top Tiers

Chris Buckley
New York Times
Guizhou is one of China’s poorest provinces, yet its villages of rice paddies, buffalos and mud-brick homes have long been a proving ground for rising stars in the Chinese Communist Party. The former president, Hu Jintao, once ran this mountainous...