Welfare for Autocrats: How Social Assistance in China Cares for Its Rulers


Product Details

Oxford University Press, USA
Publish Date
6.1 X 9.1 X 0.6 inches | 0.8 pounds

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About the Author

Jennifer Pan is an Assistant Professor of Communication, and an Assistant Professor, by courtesy, of Political Science and Sociology at Stanford University.


"Pan has produced an exceptionally researched, brilliantly and imaginatively conceptualized study of the scheme initiated in China in 1999 to placate millions of then lately laid-off members of the proletariat. Using sophisticated computational and statistical work, in addition to exhaustive documentary study and a large range of field interviews, Pan demonstrates that the regime has been using this policy as a form of what she coins 'repressive assistance, ' meaning that the government relies on local agents' allocation of benefits and home visits as a means of surveillance. The book flashes with arresting insights and often uncovers new interpretations." -- Dorothy J. Solinger, Professor Emerita, University of California, Irvine and author, Contesting Citizenship in Urban China

"Built on intensive micro-level research and a deep knowledge of Chinese politics, this book is immensely revealing about ways in which the Chinese regime distributes social benefits and more generally about the processes whereby policies fashioned for one purpose can be diverted to serve others. With sparkling insight, the book advances our understanding of how the Chinese regime mobilizes networks of social relations and a digital economy to maintain its power with important implications for many authoritarian welfare states." -- Peter A. Hall, Professor, Harvard University