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The Middle Class, Civil Rights and Popular Protest in Urban China

Final Report Summary - POPULARPROTESTCHINA (The Middle Class, Civil Rights and Popular Protest in Urban China)

Dr. Long Sun started the project of Marie Curie International Incoming Fellowship (return phase) after he came back to the School of International Studies, Renmin University of China on 21st, December 2013. Serving as an associate professor at the Department of Political science, Dr Sun obtained support provided by the school and department to conduct field work, do research, and participate in conferences related to this project smoothly.

Following-up field work
In the year of 2014, the researcher team keep in touch with Beijing Bid Committee for Homeowner‘s Association (BCHA), Governance & Community Institute(GOCO), and other critical organizations for defending homeowner’s interests. Dr. Long Sun and research assistants attended some important events launched by BCHA and GOCO to observe Beijing homeowner’s right movements.
Face to face interviews were conducted in Beijing, Sichuan and Hainan Province. While the team continue to interview leaders of homeowners’ associations, in-depth interviews were carried out among 15 local officials.
With the rapid growth of homeowner’s associations, more and more events were exposed by micro blog(weibo, similar to facebook) and other social medias. Therefore, online observations were employed by the research team to understand the new development of collective actions among Chinese middle class.

Analysis and Papers
The research team have completed the drafts of four articles and working papers. The first paper entitled “Structural and Institutional Determinants of Voter Turnout in China’s Urban People’s Congress Elections,” co-authored by Dr Zhengxu Wang and Dr Long Sun,has been submitted to Political Research Quaterly. The second paper, titled “Internet and Collective Action in Environment Protection Movements: A Comparative Study of Four Cases”, has been published by Comparative Economic and Social Systems, Vol. 178, March 2015. The third paper, titled “The Development of Local People’s Congress Legislation in Recent 35 Years: Case of Beijing”, has been published by Expanding Horizons, Vol.188 March 2015. The fourth paper, titled “Homeowners’ Associations and Community Development”, completed by Dr. Long Sun, Dr Huosheng Tan, has been accepted as a working paper published by the Centre for Governance Techniques, Tsinghua University.

Dr. Long Sun participated in 8 conferences to introduce the findings of the project and its policy implications. One was held by local government, four were held by universities while three were held by NGOs. It is expected that the academic output from the project will help European, Eastern Asian and Chinese policy circles to enhance the understandings of middle class, social movements and local democratic governance in China.