For the People or for the Party? State Building under China’s Anti-Poverty Campaign
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AbstractCampaigns are often utilized by political regimes for various purposes. Despite their temporary nature, campaigns can generate long-lasting effects on political institutions. Through a case study on China’s high-profile anti-poverty campaign under Xi Jinping, this research investigates how the poverty alleviation policies can affect the capacity of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Based on extensive fieldwork and content analysis of policy documents, we discover that the anti-poverty campaign consists of massive state building attempts in the rural area, where the CCP’s control had been previously undermined by the decollectivization in post-Mao era. In order to enhance the efficiency of relief policies, the CCP constructs an elaborate information collection system on rural households, which enables comprehensive surveillance over rural citizens. Meanwhile, to facilitate the implementation of anti-poverty policies, the CCP dispatches millions of cadres to take over village governance, which essentially replaces village-elected leaders with party-appointed bureaucrats from above. We argue that the collection of citizens’ personal information and the bureaucratization of village governance have significantly strengthened the CCP’s capacity in rural surveillance and agent control, and turned the economic policy of poverty alleviation into a political tool of state building.
Acceptance Date29/08/2019
All Author(s) ListHaoyue Zhou, Jing Vivian Zhan
Name of ConferenceAmerican Political Science Association Annual Meeting
Start Date of Conference29/08/2019
End Date of Conference01/09/2019
Place of ConferenceWashington D.C.
Country/Region of ConferenceUnited States of America
Year2019
Month8
LanguagesEnglish-United States

Last updated on 2020-22-04 at 11:07