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China Scholarship Digest #22: April 2023 Publications

A monthly list of new China-related academic research.

Articles published in April 2023

71 journals scanned

83 articles from 29 journals found

Chinese Studies

Journal of Contemporary China

"The paper unpacks the multi-level efforts to establish, promote and implement China standards in overseas contexts through an examination of corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities of Chinese state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in Africa...it identifies ways that Chinese corporate actors interpret, incorporate and initiate CSR standards through strategic planning and during overseas business activities...data shows the development of Chinese CSR standards is a co-production of international, national and local standards, which involves diverse actors and institutions and is driven by multiple considerations to fulfill commercial, political, social and diplomatic objectives for overseas companies and Chinese government."
"China’s ‘Xi-Li era’ is said to be defined by both the concentration of power in the center and the strengthening of Party authority. In this paper, we ask whether these trends have been evident in local appointment practices since Xi Jinping took office in 2013...we find that while appointment practices have shifted, the observed changes are not wholly consistent with the center- and Party-strengthening narratives. First, developments in the Xi-Li era suggest that while provincial authorities are increasingly using prefectural appointments for their own ends, the center remains high and far away in these decisions. Second, we do not find evidence that cadres with a strong Party background have a particular advantage in the Xi period. Instead, cadres with strong track records in key functional xitong, particularly those with an economic profile, are still the most likely to attain leadership positions."
"This article describes the ideological adaptation that occurred in China during the 1990s, when the reform of state-owned enterprises rearticulated the state-labor relationship...the party-state employed four types of ‘interpretive packages’ to reconcile the market reform’s rationale with its own orthodox ideology, rearticulating the quadrilateral relationship among the workers, state enterprises, the party, and the government, as well as their roles within this ideological tradition. Discourse articulation has contributed greatly to the construction of a hegemony that constrains and fixes the new meanings stemming from the reform. However, it has also generated unintended consequences, such as conflicts among various discourse practices. The findings provide us with a pathway to understand how authoritarian states stabilize their ideology during periods of accelerated change and allow us to rethink the role of ideology in states’ transformation, a topic that could be explored in future studies."

China Quarterly

"This article investigates the implementation effects of China's recent reforms to centralize its court system and offers an explanation of why such centralization efforts largely failed...the study shows that local courts’ structural dependence upon same-level party-states is perpetuated or, in some cases, is even exacerbated, despite the unprecedented reform plans to centralize the budgetary and personnel management of the judicial system...contrary to what existing assessments suggest, implementation failure is less a result of regional disparities in resources than of the party-state's own reliance on its horizontal line of power concentration and hierarchy, which is a core feature of the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) one-party rule and hinders the party-state's own attempts to strengthen both judicial autonomy and centralization. The article thus challenges two extant notions on recent political-legal developments in China – that the CCP regime has substantially centralized its judiciary along the vertical line, and that judicial autonomy can continue to increase and manifest both under the conditions of, and serving the purpose of, deepening one-party authoritarianism.
"How does Taiwanese public opinion respond to the Chinese and US military presence in the Strait? Is the public likely to become less supportive of de jure independence for Taiwan on account of China's military deterrence or more supportive owing to a perceived likelihood of US military assistance? ...We find that Taiwanese are less sensitive to the Chinese military presence in the Taiwan Strait but have become more supportive of de jure independence after seeing the US aircraft in the area.

Modern China

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