Daniel C. Mattingly

Apr 1, 2021

The Art of Political Control in China

Cambridge University Press 2019

The Art of Political Control in China (Cambridge University Press, 2019) shows how China's authoritarian state ensures political control by non-violent mechanisms. Daniel C. Mattingly demonstrates how coercive control is achieved through informal means to achieve goals such as land redistribution, the enforcement of family planning policies, and the suppression of protest. He draws on a broad combination of empirical evidence - from qualitative case studies, experiments and national surveys, to challenge conventional understandings of political control. Surprisingly, Mattingly shows that it is strong civil societies which strengthens the state's coercive capacities, while those that lack strong civil societies have the greatest potential to act collectively and spontaneously to resist the state. 

The Art of Political Control in China was named one of Foreign Affairs Magazine as one of the best books in 2020. It is important reading for our times to understand how governments - and especially authoritarian governments - foster political compliance through coercive mechanisms.  

Daniel Mattingly is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Yale University. His work focuses on the political economy of development and authoritarian politics with a focus on China. Some of his current research focuses on the military, revolutions, elite politics, and technological innovation in China, both in the present in past.

Jane Richards is a doctoral student at the University of Hong Kong. You can find her on twitter where she follows all things related to human rights and Hong Kong politics @JaneRichardsHK

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Jane Richards

Jane Richards is a doctoral student at the University of Hong Kong. You can find her on twitter where she follows all things related to human rights and Hong Kong politics @JaneRichardsHK

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