China's economic transformation has brought with it much social dislocation, which in turn has led to much social protest. This book presents a comprehensive analysis of the large-scale mass incidents which have taken place in the last decade. The book analyses these incidents systematically, discussing their nature, causes and outcomes. It shows the wide range of protests - tax riots, land and labour disputes, disputes within companies, including private and foreign companies, environmental protests and ethnic clashes - and shows how the nature of protests has changed over time. The book argues that the protests have been prompted by the socioeconomic transformations of the last decade, which have dislocated many individuals and groups, whilst also giving society increased autonomy and social freedom, enabling many people to become more vocal and active in their confrontations with the state. It suggests that many protests are related to corruption, that is failures by officials to adhere to the high standards which should be expected from benevolent government; it demonstrates how the Chinese state, far from being rigid, bureaucratic and authoritarian, is often sensitive and flexible in its response to protest, frequently addressing grievances and learning from its own mistakes; and it shows how the multilevel responsibility structure of the Chinese regime has enabled the central government to absorb the shock waves of social protest and continue to enjoy legitimacy.
Social Protest in Contemporary China 2003-2010