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Series:

Edited by Letian Zhang and Yunxiang Yan

This rare unusual collection contains a total of 774 letters, most of which were written by a couple, Mr. Lu and Ms. Jiang, who lived apart for more than fifteen years between 1961 and 1986 and relied mainly on letter-writing to communicate. They passionately revealed romantic love and conjugal compassion to each other; they discussed mundane details of everyday family life including management of the household economy, efforts of interacting with in-laws, relatives, and friends, learning course of raising children, and strategies of coping with financial hardship. They also sincerely engaged each other in a soul-searching process of making themselves into socialist subjects and participating in various political campaigns.

The content of these letters is as rich and complicated as the flow of life itself in which the personal, economic and political are intermingled together. The degree of sincerity and honesty in these letters is greater than that in many other kinds of historical data because the authors are not writing for public consumption. This rare collection of personal letters presents not only a huge amount of original and disaggregated data but also constitutes an oral history of social life in China that is unintentionally being recorded by the authors.

Series:

Edited by Letian Zhang, Fuqun Xi and Yunxiang Yan

This book presents a complete set of the daily work journals by a village cadre, Mr. Zhou Shengkang (1926-2012), from 1961 to 1982. Mr. Zhou carefully—and almost religiously—recorded all the meetings he attended or chaired, the information he received from his superiors, the various speeches and work tasks he completed, records of good and bad behavior by fellow villagers, details on village elections and leadership changes, and political campaigns and other important events in the community, plus his personal observations and reflections on these events.

To date such a systematic, rich, and detailed set of original work journal records have never appeared in published form or been made available to the public. When used as records of social history, Zhou’s work journals allow researchers to delve more deeply, and when used for comparative purposes, researchers can explore more widely to gain additional insights. Regardless of how the journals are used, they contain a gold mine of information waiting to be explored and uncovered.

Violence, Periodization and Definition of the Cultural Revolution

A Case Study of Two Deaths by the Red Guards

Series:

Joshua Zhang and James D. Wright

This book recounts two deaths, the murder of Mr. Wang Jin by 31 Red Guards in the Nanjing Foreign Language School, where the senior author was a young student at the time; and the earlier murder of Mrs. Bian Zhongyun of the Girls School affiliated with the Beijing Normal University in 1966. The book is a history of two small incidents in a massive social injustice and also an attempt to understand the Cultural Revolution (CR) within the framework of modern social movement theory. The book elaborates on the sources of violence in the CR, and the definition and periodization of the CR (that is, what was it, and when did it begin and end?).

Chinese Research Perspectives on Population and Labor, Volume 4

12th Five-Year Review and 13th Five-Year Outlook

Series:

Edited by Fang Cai and Zhang Juwei

This volume is based on Green Book of Population and Labor No. 16 originally published in Chinese. Chapter one reviews developments in population and family planning during the 12th five-year plan period (2011–2015), presents forecast, and examines the relationship between demographic changes and economic development. Chapter two focuses on population movement trends and employment situation of rural migrant workers. The country’s overall employment situation in this period is presented in chapter three. Chapter four examines trends in China’s labor supply and demand. Chapters five and six look at recent progress in and development of China’s old-age insurance and medical insurance systems. As in previous volumes, this one contains policy suggestions for labor market development and population management.

Environmental Governance in China

State, Society, and Market

Series:

Jesse Turiel, Iza Ding and John Chung-En Liu

This article provides an analytical overview of major works on the topic of environmental governance in China, with a particular emphasis on studies examining policies during the reform era (post-1978). We begin by exploring the rise of China’s “environmental state” and the various institutional and political factors that shape state behavior. Next, we describe the complex relationship between the Chinese state and society, analyzing studies related to environmental public opinion, citizen action, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), green civil society, the role of the media, and China’s judiciary. Finally, we conclude by reviewing research on market-based mechanisms of environmental governance in China, including emissions trading schemes, environmental transparency, corporate information disclosure, and green finance.

Series:

Aya Okada, Yu Ishida, Takako Nakajima and Yasuhiko Kotagiri

Despite a long history, the organized field of research on voluntaristics in Japan has emerged only in the past two decades. This article presents a comprehensive review of voluntaristics research in Japan through an overview of past studies and recent hot topics. Nonprofit sector and voluntary action research, now termed voluntaristics (Smith, 2016), is reviewed here using four approaches: organizational, economic, employment, and charitable giving. Discussion of recent changes in the political-legal environment for nonprofit agencies and associations as well as of collaboration among nonprofits, governments, and businesses are presented. The article also covers some of the key topics in recent years, including rising social movements and advocacy, social impact bonds, social capital, and information and communication technologies (ICT) and social media.
In discussing the emergence, expansion, and diversification of nonprofit research in Japan, the article makes two main arguments. First, we argue that studies of voluntaristics are rather recent in Japan, still in pursuit of their own originality. Second, we argue that nonprofit research in Japan is constantly looking for an ideal relationship with practice. Research appears to have not fully caught up with the changing landscape of nonprofits in action, and research has not been able to guide practice into the best next steps. The article highlights characteristics of nonprofit sector research in Japan as well as suggesting key questions for future research.

Geopolitical Economy of Energy and Environment

China and the European Union

Series:

Edited by Mehdi P. Amineh and Guang Yang

This book is the product of a joint research program between the Institute of West Asia & African Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing and the Energy Program Asia of the International Institute for Asian Studies, Leiden University. China’s transition to an urban-industrial society relies on its abundant domestic coal supplies, and on an increase in oil and gas imports. However, authorities are confronted with trade-offs between investments in expanding supplies of fossils, environmental sustainability, energy efficiency and in clean energy. Resources spent on expanding imported energy have to weighted against clean energy investments and improving efficiency of the fossil-fuel sector. The same is no less true for the European Union and its member states. Import dependency on piped gas is again growing. Security of supply of natural gas depends on political cooperation with energy-rich countries. At the same the EU has to meet its clean energy commitments by compromises between member states and ‘Brussels’. Chinese National Oil Companies bridge the worlds of government in China and the extractive sector in hydrocarbon exporting-countries. At the global level, Chinese (Trans-)National Oil Companies maintain competitive and cooperative relations with privately owned International Oil companies. This book focuses, among others, on these networks with the objective to contribute to the study of the geopolitical economy of the energy sectors in the global system.

Contributors are: M.P. Amineh, Eric K. Chu, Wina H.J. Crijns-Graus, Robert Cutler, Li Xiaohua, Liu Dong, Chen Mo, Nana de Graaff, Joyeeta Gupta, Sara Hardus, Barbara Hogenboom, Sun Hongbo and Yang Guang.

The Path to Sun Village

Gods, Ghosts, and People in a Post-Revolutionary Society

Series:

Chongqing Wu

This book is a product of over ten years of work. It addresses intermarriage circles, transformations of customs, the rise and fall supernatural forces, power relations among gods, ghosts and people in “synchronic communities,” and tongxiangtongye (same hometown, same industry) economies based on rural sociocultural networks in the author’s native Sun Village in Putian. The author explores the details of microhistory by examining changes and continuities in everyday life to show the grand through the minute.
This exciting book possesses important theoretical significance, including reflections on binary frameworks such as state vs. society and tradition vs. modernity or revolution, along with new arguments about commonly used concepts such as “the cultural nexus of power” and “the hollowing-out of the rural.”

Life Advice from Below

The Public Role of Self-Help Coaches in Germany and China

Series:

Eric C. Hendriks

In Life Advice from Below, Eric C. Hendriks offers the first systematic, comparative study of the globalization of American-style self-help culture and the cultural conflicts this creates in different national contexts. The self-help guru is an archetypical American figure associated with individualism, materialism and the American Dream. Nonetheless, the self-help industry is spreading globally, thriving in China and other seemingly unlikely places. Controversy follows in its wake, as the self-help industry, operating outside of formal education and state institutions, outflanks philosophical, religious and political elites who have their own visions of the Good Life. Through a comparison of Germany and China, Hendriks analyzes how the competition between self-help gurus and institutional authorities unfolds under radically different politico-cultural regimes.

“This witty book charms its way through a very serious sociology of the seriously quirky field of self-help books. Read it for its fascinating pop-culture insights and you’ll come away with a deep understanding of contemporary sociological theory. Highly recommended.” - Salvatore Babones, University of Sydney

“Hendriks’ finding that Germany rather than China is more resistant to self-help gurus offers a powerful corrective to the assumption in much of the globalization literature that the greatest cultural divide is between the Anglo-Western European sphere and the rest of the globe.” - Rodney Benson, New York University

Livelihoods and Development

New Perspectives

Edited by Leo de Haan

This books aims to further develop theory and practice on people-centred development, in particular on the livelihood approach. It focuses on four contemporary thematic areas, where progress has been booked but also contestation is still apparent: power relations, power struggles and underlying structures; livelihood trajectories and livelihood pathways: house, home and homeland in the context of violence; and mobility and immobility.
Contemporary livelihood studies aim to contribute to the understanding of poor people’s lives with the ambition to enhance their livelihoods. Nowadays livelihood studies work from an holistic perspective on how the poor organize their livelihoods, in order to understand their social exclusion and to contribute to interventions and policies that intend to countervail that.

Contributors are: Clare Collingwood Esland, Ine Cottyn, Jeanne de Bruijn, Leo de Haan, Charles do Rego, Benjamin Etzold, Urs Geiser, Jan Willem le Grand, Griet Steel, Paul van Lindert, Annelies Zoomers.