“Everyday Repression in China” by Lynette Ong
August 11, 2021 @ 9:00 am – 10:00 am JST
Author: Lynette Ong (Toronto)
Abstract: This paper addresses state’s outsourcing violence to third-party agents. It theorizes the concept of “everyday repression”, a banal and prosaic form of repression that uses low-level violence to coerce citizens into compliance with the state’s policies. It is a repressive strategy that does not require a coercive apparatus or trained agents, thus incurring lower costs than conventional repressive measures. The third-party nature of the agents allows for plausible deniability and evasion of accountability from the masses and higher-level authorities. However, outsourcing violence is subject to agency problems, which could result in undisciplined use of violence. This study draws on a range of quantitative and qualitative data from China to illustrate these arguments.
Discussants: Lisa Blaydes (Stanford).