Friday, November 07, 2008

Making Sense of Village Elections in a Township

Stanford ChinaRains (

“Can a falling leaf tell the coming of the autumn?”
Making Sense of Village Elections in a Township
Keywords: election, reform, rural China

Speaker : Prof. Zhou, Xueguang
周雪光 教授
Department of Sociology
Stanford University

Thursday, Nov 6, 7:00-9:00pm
Room 380Y, Building 380 (Math corner in Main Quad)
450 Serra Mall, Stanford, CA 94305
Location Map:
(Note: We have changed to a new location this time!)

Working language: Chinese

Outline of the Talk
Based on ethnographic research on village elections and related episodes in a township in Northern China, this study offers close observations and sensemaking of the processes that contributed to the success, especially in terms of procedural fairness, in carrying out village elections in this town in 2006, the most recent election cycle. Focusing on the shifting role of the township government in this process, I argue and demonstrate that the observed success resulted from the interplay among multiple, often disparate processes, events in distant areas, and unintended consequences of state policies, some of which had evolved over more than a decade. This recognition points to the importance of local contexts, historical processes, and institutional specificity in understanding the ongoing societal transformation in China.

Bio. Of Prof. Zhou
Xueguang Zhou is a professor of sociology and an FSI senior fellow. His main area of research is institutional changes in contemporary Chinese society, focusing on Chinese organizations and management, social inequality, and state-society relationships.
Ling Yang
ChinaRains at Stanford University

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