Roundtable in Asia Policy 18.1
Lynette H. Ong’s Outsourcing Repression: Everyday State Power in Contemporary China
In this book review roundtable on Lynette H. Ong’s Outsourcing Repression: Everyday State Power in Contemporary China, Manfred Elfstrom, Yao Li, Jean Christopher Mittelstaedt, and Lynette H. Ong discuss the use of nonstate actors in China to help the government accomplish its social and urbanization objectives.
China’s Informal Tools of Grassroots Control
Exposing Repression Behind the Scenes
Puppets Or Agents? “Thugs-For-Hire” and Brokers between State and Society
Jean Christopher Mittelstaedt
Author’s Response: A New Research Agenda on Blurring State-Society Boundaries and “Reimagining State Power” in China?
Lynette H. Ong
Manfred Elfstrom is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics, Philosophy, and Political Science at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan (Canada), where his research concerns China, social movements, labor, and authoritarianism. He is the author of Workers and Change in China: Resistance, Repression, Responsiveness (2021), which shows how industrial conflict is transforming the Chinese state from below with complicated results for activists and authorities alike.
Yao Li is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminology & Law at the University of Florida (United States). Before joining University of Florida, she was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation and a lecturer at the University of Kansas. She is the author of Playing by the Informal Rules—Why the Chinese Regime Remains Stable Despite Rising Protests (2019). Her research combines quantitative and qualitative methods to address debates in the fields of social movements, environmental studies, political sociology, and development.
Jean Christopher Mittelstaedt is a Departmental Lecturer in Modern Chinese Studies at the University of Oxford (United Kingdom).
Lynette H. Ong is Professor of Political Science at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, University of Toronto (Canada). She is an expert on China, and her research interests lie at the intersection of authoritarianism, contentious politics, and development. Outsourcing Repression: Everyday State Power in Contemporary China (2022) draws on nearly a decade of ethnographic research in China.