Rightful Resistance in Rural China
Cambridge University Press / 2006-2-13出版

How can the poor and weak “work”a political system to their advantage?
Drawing mainly on interviews and surveys in rural China, Kevin O’Brien and
Lianjiang Li show that popular action often hinges on locating and exploiting
divisions within the state. Otherwise powerless people use the rhetoric and
commitments of the central government to try to fight misconduct by local
officials, open up clogged channels of participation, and push back the frontiers of the permissible. This “rightful resistance” has far-reaching implications for our understanding of contentious politics. As O’Brien and Li explore the origins, dynamics, and consequences of rightful resistance, they highlight similarities between collective action in places as varied as China, the former East Germany, and the United States, while suggesting how Chinese experiences speak to issues such as opportunities to protest, claims radicalization, tactical innovation, and the outcomes of contention. Although the focus of their rich, ground-level analysis is contemporary China, the authors make a compelling argument that wherever a gap between rights promised and rights delivered exists, there is room for rightful resistance to emerge.

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