Beyond parochial activism : cross-regional protests and the changing landscape of popular contention in China

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Since the mid-2010s, China has experienced scores of cross-regional protests by claim-making groups, despite the Xi regime’s tightening societal control. In this article, I examine this form of contention and differentiate three types of groups that make claims for rulemaking, rule-enforcement, and political reform. Then, I compare state responses to each type by focusing on three specific groups: veterans, investors, and leftist students. Instead of crushing all attempts at cross-regional mobilization, the regime has at times made concessions. It has been slow to resort to outright repression, especially when protesters have merely demanded policy change or enforcement. Although this repertoire of contention appears in only some of China’s many protests, it is becoming more widespread and in some cases impacts government policy.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Contemporary China
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 May 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was generously supported by the Research Postgraduate Studentship of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and the Eurasia-Pacific Uninet Ernst Mach Grant, Austria. The author is grateful to Lianjiang Li, Xi Chen, and H. Christoph Steinhardt for their support at various stages of the study. Constructive comments from the editor-in-chief, Suisheng Zhao, and three anonymous reviewers are greatly appreciated. Guadalupe Holguin Alvidrez has provided excellent editing advice.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


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