Still a Model? Revisiting the Rebel Village of Wukan

A little over a year ago, residents of the small southern Chinese fishing village of Wukan ransacked the offices of the local government in protest over a land grab by local officials. The death in police custody of one of the protest leaders a few months later catapulted the village into an unlikely rebellion, later resolved by the equally unlikely selection of new village leaders through a democratic election.

Proponents of political reform quickly heralded the village as a new model for the handling of unrest, possibly even the start of a genuine shift toward democracy. But a minor protest on Friday, the one-year anniversary of the start of the original protests, has sparked a debate about whether the results of the Wukan experiment need to be re-evaluated.

Politics, Society