Institutionalized Official Hostility and Protest Leader Logic: A Long-Term Chinese Peasants Collective Protest at Dahe Dam in the 1980s

Part of the Nonprofit and Civil Society Studies book series (NCSS)


Since the Reform started in 1978 China has witnessed a dramatic rise of grassroots resistance. The state has responded with considerable urgency to contain the spread of grassroots protests (General Office of CCP Central Committee & General Office of the State Council 1998). Researchers have explored the scale, social range, and geographic distribution of protest (Diao 1996; Tanner 2001). Scholarship of Chinese grassroots resistance examines the incidence and nature of violent protest and the traditional resources available for collective action (Perry 1984, 2001), the state’s strategies in handling expanding grassroots protests (Tanner 2001), the institutional structure systematically transforming individual behaviors into collective actions (Zhou 1993), the spatial arrangements for urban mobilization (Zhao 2001), and policy-based contentions and rightful resistance in rural area (Rightful resistance is a concept created by O’Brien) (O’Brien and Li 1995; Li and O’Brien 1996; O’Brien 1996). However, scholarship has failed to conduct case studies and to explore the local political environment and internal dynamics of grass root activism. Knowledge of the local political environment is the key to understanding the emergence of activism across China. Important issues must be addressed including the factors shaping the attitudes of local officials toward protest in the 1980s and how the response of officials shaped the goals, strategies, repertoires, and internal organizational structure of grassroots protest organizations.


Collective Action Local Official Land Loss Compensation Package Commune Official 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Tsinghua UniversityBeijingChina

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