This image comes from a new working paper (with Jessica Weiss) looking at the political economy of nationalist protest in China.
Here’s the abstract:
Why do some cities take part in waves of nationalist protest but not others? Nationalist protest remains an important but understudied topic within the study of contentious politics in China, particularly at the subnational level. Unlike other protests, nationalist mobilization is both more clustered in time and geographically widespread, linking citizens across different cities against a common target. Although the literature has hotly debated the degree of state-led and grassroots influence on Chinese nationalism, we argue that it is the interaction of citizen propensity to mobilize and local government insecurity that explains the occurrence of nationalist protest. Analyzing an original dataset of 377 anti-Japanese protests across 208 of 287 Chinese prefectural cities, we find that both state-led patriotism and the availability of collective action resources were positively associated with nationalist protest, particularly “biographically available” populations of students and migrants. In addition, the government’s role was not monolithically facilitative. Government fears of social unrest shaped the local political opportunity structure, with anti-Japanese protests less likely in cities with larger populations of unemployed college graduates and ethnic minorities, and more likely in cities with established leaders.
The full paper will be posted soon. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
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