China and Inner Asia
Organized Panel Session
In recent years, contentious politics in China has shown both changing and persistent characteristics. While land disputes have consistently been one of the biggest sources of unrest, environmental protests have become one of the most frequent and often effective ones. Labor activism, an old bottle, is containing new wine by showing new patterns. Various techniques are employed by activists and participants strategically. Likewise, local government officials also resort to formal and informal tools to respond to these challenges, more willing to compromise on certain issues whereas more confrontational and firm toward others. This panel puts together four papers that use qualitative and quantitative methods trying to examine the network and organizing structures of these movements, explaining why local governments respond in different fashions, and demonstrate how activists react in dynamic ways. These papers will shed light on the important questions on political activism in China as well as the less explored topic of strategic government responses.