China’s Dormant and Active Social Volcanoes
MetadataShow full item record
CitationWhyte, Martin King. 2016. “China’s Dormant and Active Social Volcanoes.” The China Journal 75 (January): 9–37. https://doi.org/10.1086/683124.
AbstractChina's leaders often claim that the rising tide of mass protests in recent years is primarily driven by popular anger over the widening gap between rich and poor. However, in a series of national surveys that I helped direct, it becomes clear the average Chinese citizen is less angry about current income gaps than citizens in many other societies. There also is no clear increase in such anger over time (despite a sustained rise in income inequality). The primary drivers of popular anger lie elsewhereprimarily in power inequalities, manifested in abuses of power, official corruption, bureaucrats who fail to protect the public from harm, mistreatment by those in authority, and inability to obtain redress when mistreated. China's leaders have done an impressive job in recent years of addressing poverty and material inequality, thus keeping the distributive injustice social volcano dormant. However, they have so far been unwilling or unable to make fundamental reforms to address procedural injustices. Unless they can provide Chinese citizens with more effective protections from the arbitrariness and abuses of entrenched power, a shared sense of injustice will persist, and this active volcano will continue to smolder, with the potential to erupt and threaten Party rule.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:37907084
- FAS Scholarly Articles