By Jeremy Wallace
China's administration of urbanization is an under-appreciated think about the regime's sturdiness. The chinese language Communist get together fears "Latin Americanization" -- the emergence of hugely unequal megacities with their attendant slums and social unrest. Such towns threaten the survival of nondemocratic regimes. To wrestle the possibility, many regimes, together with China's, want towns in policymaking. Cities and Stability exhibits this "urban bias" to be a Faustian discount: towns could be stabilized for a time, however the sizeable in-migration from the geographical region that effects can generate the stipulations for political upheaval. via its hukou procedure of inner migration regulations, China has shunned this quandary, at the same time helping urbanites and holding farmers within the geographical region. The method helped hinder social upheaval even through the nice Recession, whilst thousands and thousands of laid-off migrant staff dispersed from coastal towns. Jeremy Wallace's strong account forces us to reconsider the connection among towns and political balance in the course of the constructing global.
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Extra resources for Cities and Stability: Urbanization, Redistribution, and Regime Survival in China
The mechanisms at play here are classic economics of scale issues, but also congestion costs and the like. See also Krugman 1991. 53 54 30 Cities and Stability Cities are dangerous because they are inscrutable, difficult to govern, and— as a consequence—prone to explosions of unrest. How do regimes respond to these dangers? Regime Responses and the Faustian Bargain Regimes are constantly attempting to strengthen their grip on power. 59 Redistributive policy in favor of cities, termed urban bias, attempts to reduce the level of urban grievances and improve the living situations of urban residents.
10 Geddes 1999b; Hadenius and Teorell 2007; Magaloni 2006. 11 Lust-Okar 2005, 2006; Blaydes 2010. 12 Boix 2003; Gandhi and Przeworski 2006; Wright 2008. 13 To use Svolik’s term, this book focuses on cities and the problem of authoritarian control, although as argued below, mass and elite politics interact to affect the survival of regimes (Svolik 2012). 5 Urban Bias 19 L A R G E CI T I E S Beijing and Shanghai are global megacities by any measure, but they share the Chinese urban landscape with dozens of cities with population over a million and hundreds of cities on the order of half a million.
If collective action requires collections of activists coming together to create an organization to motivate collective action, then such events are more likely to be possible in a large city. Protests in large cities are also more politically damaging. The political tide in a megacity that contains one-third of the country’s urban population tends to be decisive more often than in a country with ten large cities, each of which houses only a slice of the population. A popular uprising in a first- or second-tier city sends a signal of a different order than a similar protest in a third- or fourth-tier city.