China and Inner Asia
Organized Panel Session
An important theme in political science research is the role of various social identities—ascriptive identities like sex and age, as well as communal ties—in shaping the political behavior of officials and citizens. For instance, how do gender and age impact political participation by both voters and local officials? Are officials more responsive to citizens from some social groups than to others, and which political institutions best induce responsiveness? Can enduring social institutions serve as the basis for social protection in a rapidly changing and increasingly capitalist society? The scholars on this panel seek to address these questions using a variety of methodological approaches. Benjamin L. Read and Hsi Dai Lin assess the obstacles facing young and female candidates for grassroots-level offices in Taiwan. Aram Hur focuses on women as voters rather than candidates, exploring the historical roots of a gender gap in voting in Taiwan and other East Asian democracies. Sara Newland compares local government responsiveness among elected and bureaucratically appointed officials in Taiwan, assessing why appointed officials may feel obligated to serve citizens even when citizens lack the power to vote them out of office. And Liu Xue and Ching-Ping Tang explain why collective social institutions have aided rural land preservation in a Chinese village despite rapid urbanization in the surrounding area.