Welfare for Autocrats: Social Assistance in China

Seminar

Speaker(s)

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

Date and Time

October 15, 2020 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Availability

Open to the public.

No RSVP required

Location

Online, via Zoom: REGISTER

**Please note all CDDRL events are scheduled using the Pacific Time Zone

About the Event:

What are the costs of the Chinese regime's fixation on quelling dissent in the name of political order, or “stability”? Using novel datasets and a variety of methodologies, Welfare for Autocrats shows how China has reshaped its major social assistance program, Dibao, around this preoccupation, turning an effort to alleviate poverty into a tool of surveillance and repression. This distortion of Dibao damages perceptions of government competence and legitimacy and can trigger unrest among those denied benefits. Welfare for Autocrats traces how China's approach to enforcing order transformed at the turn of the 21st century and identifies the phenomenon of seepage whereby one policy—in this case, quelling dissent—alters the allocation of resources and goals of unrelated areas of government. These findings challenge the view that concessions and repression are distinct strategies in authoritarian regimes and departs from the assumption that all tools of repression were originally designed as such.

 

About the Speaker:

JenPanJennifer Pan is an Assistant Professor of Communication, and an Assistant Professor, by courtesy, of Political Science and Sociology at Stanford University. Her research resides at the intersection political communication and authoritarian politics, showing how authoritarian governments try to control society, how the public responds, and when and why each is successful. Her work has appeared in peer-reviewed publications such as the American Political Science ReviewAmerican Journal of Political ScienceComparative Political StudiesJournal of Politics, and Science.

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