China has become a land of protests, though the Chinese state possesses considerable administrative capacity. In this volume, Manfred Elfstrom and Yao Li provide an overview of Chinese contentious politics. They dig deep into major forms of social conflict, explore structural explanations for why protest occurs in China, and describe the ways in which various organizations and framings of issues by citizens affect how protests play out. Shifting to where grassroots activism ultimately leads, Elfstrom and Li survey China’s coercive and conciliatory institutions for maintaining social control, document and explain patterns in the state’s handling of different types of resistance, and examine the social and political impact of unrest. This work not only contributes to a deeper understanding of contentious politics and governance in China, but also provides insights for studies of social movements and authoritarian politics in general.

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Manfred Elfstrom, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics, Philosophy, and Political Science at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan. His work is published in China Quarterly, China Information, ILR Review, and the British Journal of Industrial Relations.

Yao Li, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminology & Law at the University of Florida. She is the author of Playing by the Informal Rules—Why the Chinese Regime Remains Stable despite Rising Protests (Cambridge 2019).

Contentious Politics in China: Causes, Dynamics, and Consequences
Manfred Elfström and Yao Li

 1 The Broad Landscape of Chinese Protest
 2 Economic Structural Explanations of Chinese Contention
 3 Political Opportunity Explanations of Chinese Contention
 4 Forms of Organization
 5 Issue Framing
 6 Empowerment and Weakness
 7 Government Responses to Protests
 8 Conclusion
All interested in Chinese society and politics and, more generally, social movements, comparative politics, power, legitimacy, governance, social control, reform, institutions, and authoritarian politics.
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