Cover: Political Participation in Beijing, from Harvard University PressCover: Political Participation in Beijing in PAPERBACK

Political Participation in Beijing

Product Details


$50.00 • £43.95 • €45.95

ISBN 9780674686410

Publication Date: 08/15/1997


352 pages

6-1/4 x 9-1/4 inches

10 tables


Add to Cart

Media Requests:

Related Subjects

In this first scientific survey of political participation in the People’s Republic of China, Tianjian Shi identifies twenty-eight participatory acts and groups them into seven areas: voting, campaign activities, appeals, adversarial activities, cronyism, resistance, and boycotts. What he finds will surprise many observers. Political participation in a closed society is not necessarily characterized by passive citizens driven by regime mobilization aimed at carrying out predetermined goals. Beijing citizens acknowledge that they actively engage in various voluntary participatory acts to articulate their interests.

In a society where communication channels are controlled by the government, Shi discovers, access to information from unofficial means becomes the single most important determinant for people’s engaging in participatory acts. Government-sponsored channels of appeal are easily accessible to ordinary citizens, so socioeconomic resources are unimportant in determining who uses these channels. Instead, voter turnout is found to be associated with the type of work unit a person belongs to, subjective evaluations of one’s own economic status, and party affiliation. Those most likely to engage in campaign activities, adversarial activities, cronyism, resistance, and boycotts are the more disadvantaged groups in Beijing. While political participation in the West fosters a sense of identification, the unconventional modes of participation in Beijing undermine the existing political order.

Recent News

Black lives matter. Black voices matter. A statement from HUP »

From Our Blog

Composite photograph showing (top) entrance to the Prudential Center in Boston and (bottom) an internal construction partition/wall printed with the words 'Opening Day 2023' and other decorative text

A New Chapter for Harvard Book Store

Starting in the summer of 2023, for the first time in almost thirty years, Harvard Book Store will have two locations: the flagship store in Harvard Square, and a large new store in the Prudential Center in Boston. For University Press Week we wanted to show some bookseller love, so we reached out to Rachel Cass, General Manager of the Harvard Book Store, to see what’s planned for their exciting new location