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Durham e-Theses
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Contentious Activities and Party-State Responses
in Contemporary China
-- Investigating China’s Democratisation during its Modernisation

YU, YING (2010) Contentious Activities and Party-State Responses
in Contemporary China
-- Investigating China’s Democratisation during its Modernisation.
Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



The macroscopic picture of China today is highly contradictory: on the one hand there is an explicit scenario of modernisation initiated by the government and developing in unexpected depth and rapidity, and on the other hand an implicit but unrecognised scenario of democratisation nurtured by modernisation and actively involving different social forces. Due to the intensifying social problems – and perhaps even social crisis – that accompany the many transformations, such as the restructuring relationship between Party-state, society and individuals and the changing culture and value system, remarkable contentious activities have been launched by a wide range of social actors striving for their rights and interests. Underneath the dynamic character of contentions in China, this research will try to test the normative and ethical presumption that contentious politics promotes both robust civil society and representative government – the substance of democracy. I examine the contentious actions of the three significant social groups - the labourers, intellectuals and religious groups - and the Party-state responses to their politics, which are largely co-optation, toleration and control-repression. I also examine the important dynamic between centre and province with regard to their responses. My methods of documentation, interviewing and internet content analysis have been adopted in order to study these contentions and Party-state responses. The thesis concludes that the relationships between Party-state, society and individuals are restructured in contentions and interactions driven by modernisation. There are mounting democratic pressures and open demands from people with an increasing political consciousness, which challenge authority to different extents all over the country and will lead to China’s democratisation in both bottom-up and top-down directions.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Government and International Affairs, School of
Thesis Date:2010
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:14 Dec 2010 12:10

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