China Perspectives 2013/1


In the Name of the State:

Interactions between local administrators and citizens

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China Perspectives 2013/1

Special Feature

Editorial 2013/1 Page 2

Isabelle Thireau

Operating Norms and Practices of Residents’ Committees:
The consequences and limits of management by numbers Page 7

Wang Di

ABSTRACT: This article, which is based on fieldwork carried out within a Residents’ Committee in Beijing, explores the way in which this low-level urban society management authority functions. More precisely, it analyses the relationships established by these administrators with the higher echelons and likewise with the residents and the way in which these relationships develop, depending on the activities in question. It describes in particular how the expectations of the upper echelons, and the way in which they are expressed, orient and limit the practices adopted within these authorities and the operating norms that result. Particular attention is paid to the management by numbers imposed by the upper echelons, and its impact on the functioning of Neighbourhood Communities.
KEYWORDS: Residents’ Committee, Subdistrict Office, management by numbers, norms, visibility.

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Interactions Between Chengguan and Street Vendors in Beijing:
How the unpopularity of an administration affects relations with the public Page 17

Emmanuel Caron

ABSTRACT: Despite the existence of an administration – the chengguan – one of whose main roles is to control illegal street vendors, the latter are still very numerous in Beijing. This paradox can be partly explained by a form of tolerance on the part of the chengguan in response to the public resistance to their actions, which is linked to the conflictive nature of their relationship with the street vendors.This tolerance appears to be erratic, but is actually based on recurrent distinctions made by this administration. However, the informal, revocable, and ultimately unpredictable character of the control exercised by the chengguan has resulted in a continuation of the conflictive nature of their interactions with street vendors.
KEYWORDS: chengguan, street vendors, interactions, control techniques, informal practices.

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Who is Relocating Whom in the Renovation of Shanghai’s Old City? Page 29

Zhang Kai

ABSTRACT: The aim of this article is to describe the various actors who intervene in the renovation (and therefore relocation) projects that have been proliferating in Chinese cities for several years. The term “relocation” is a translation of the French term “délogement,” which was coined by the author to refer to the specific process that brings together urban renovation, destruction of housing, and displacement of occupants in China today. Based on a field study conducted in Shanghai between 2003 and 2008, this paper intends to reveal the diversity of actors involved in such projects and the varied relationships they maintain with the official sphere, which directly influences the course of negotiations regarding compensation and rehousing.
KEYWORDS: Shanghai, urbanisation, renovation, relocation.

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The Leap to the City: Resistance and transition in a Chinese village facing urbanisation Page 41

Boris Svartzman

ABSTRACT: This article is based on a field survey conducted in a village whose lands were expropriated, its homes destroyed, and its inhabitants relocated to two blocks of flats built about a hundred metres from the village, and in which new neighbourhood administrations were set up. Supervision of the evictions by local authorities seems crucial in the process of adapting former villagers to their status as urban dwellers. However, the interactions between cadres and people in their new urban setting cannot be understood without taking into account the resistance that preceded the eviction, a resistance that we will seek to reconstruct.
KEYWORDS: conflict, expropriation, population displacement, migration, urbanisation, transition, property.

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Recognising Adoption: Family relationships tested by birth control Page 53

Karine-Hinano Guérin

ABSTRACT: This article is based on a survey conducted over two years in Kunming and its vicinity, as well as in the rural areas of Yunnan Province. It considers the relations between administrators (officials) and the administered (families) in the process of adoption procedures. After going over the regular, albeit little noticed, practices of adoption in China, the text analyses the interactions and negotiations that take place, case by case, as families turn towards local authorities in order to legalise the presence of a child they have acquired and taken charge of. The main focus is on the multiple and also contradictory legislative frameworks having a bearing on institutional procedures that, in view of their internal contradictions, widen the margin of manoeuvrability for local officials as well as adoptive families. The two sides thus come up with non-legal norms concerning what is best suited to such situations.
KEY WORDS: adoption, law, family planning, family, legal norms, renqing / renxing.

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Providing Access to Water:The pump, the spring and the kluBrokerage and local development on the Tibetan Plateau Page 61

Xénia de Heering

ABSTRACT: This article examines the relationships between administrators and the administered within the framework of local development brokerage practices directed at setting up running water systems for domestic consumption in Tibetan rural areas of Qinghai Province. Split between several locations, the activities of the brokers entail finding agreements and compromises in various forms with a variety of interlocutors: local government, the recipients of the project – and also the deities.
KEYWORDS: local development brokerage, access to running water, Tibetan Plateau, Qinghai, relations with local government.

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Educating a New Generation of StudentsTransferring knowledge and norms from Hong Kong to the mainland Page 73

David ZweigAmy Liu Mei Heung

ABSTRACT: All Hong Kong universities have been actively influencing education in China since 1997. The major methods include: running an independent university in one case, and managing and transforming four colleges in another; training many mainland students in Hong Kong who upon graduation return there; and serving as a home base on the doorstep of the mainland from which academics can influence their colleagues across the border. This paper shows how all these methods transfer a new set of academic norms prevalent in Hong Kong to the mainland.
KEYWORDS: international education, returned scholars, overseas students, value transfer.

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CEFC News Analysis

Whither Weiwen?Stability maintenance in the 18th Party Congress era Page 87

Karita Kan

China Analysis

Reforming China’s State-owned Enterprises Page 94

Agatha Kratz

Local financing difficulties and wide gaps in credit access: Growing pessimism on the ground Page 96

Jean-François Di Meglio

Review Essay

Redefinition of the Modern, Native Epistemology and Global IdentityThe Confucian revival and the “China model” in the work of Arif Dirlik Page 99

David Bartel

Arif Dirlik, Culture and History in Post-Revolutionary China. The Perspective of Global Modernity, Hong Kong, CUHK Press, 2011, 341 pp.

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Book Reviews

Book reviews 2013/1 (pdf) Page 103

China Perspectives 2013/1

Luca Gabbiani, Pékin à l’ombre du Mandat Céleste. Vie quotidienne et gouvernement urbain sous la dynastie Qing (1644-1911) (Peking in the Shade of the Mandate of Heaven. Daily life and urban government under the Qing Dynasty [1644-1911]) Page 104

Erling von Mende

Séverine Arsène, Internet et politique en Chine (Internet and Politics in China) Page 106

Eric Sautedé

Gerard Lemos, The End of the Chinese Dream: Why Chinese people fear the future Page 107

Pierre-Henry de Bruyn

Peter C.Y. Chow (ed.), National Identity and Economic Interest: Taiwan’s competing options and their implications for regional stability Page 108

André Beckershoff



























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