China and Inner Asia
Organized Panel Session
This panel proposal brings together four papers that examine political violence and its varied legacies in East Asia, with a focus on how patterns of repression and war shape the relationship between state and society. Diana Kim’s paper examines the baekjeong of Korea, an “untouchable” caste that disappeared in the years following World War II and the Korean War. Drawing on oral histories, Kim shows how conflict allowed this marginalized group the chance to assimilate into society. Like Kim, Reo Matsuzaki focuses on the legacy of Japanese wartime occupation, but in this case on Indonesia and the Philippines. Matsuzaki argues that elite fragmentation in Indonesia led the state to retain the state institutions developed by the Japanese, while elite unity in the Philippines led officials to dismantle these institutions and return to the precolonial model of state-society relations. Daniel Mattingly investigates the course of four revolutionary student movements that reshaped modern China, and asks why the military sometimes sided with revolutionaries and sometimes with the state. He argues that elite moral authority and party penetration of the military determined whether the army was loyal to the state. Finally, Suzanne Scoggins draws our attention to “everyday” conflicts between police officers and citizens in China, drawing on an original dataset of everyday conflict that maps the location, frequency, causes, and resolutions of clashes between the public and the police. Taken together, these four papers help us understand how violent political conflict, from the everyday to the extraordinary, reshapes state-society relations in Asia.