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2008

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Full-Text Articles in Political Science

Eucharist And Dragon Fighting As Resistance: Against Commodity Fetishism And Scientism, Jeffery Nicholas Jul 2015

Eucharist And Dragon Fighting As Resistance: Against Commodity Fetishism And Scientism, Jeffery Nicholas

Jeffery Nicholas

This paper examines two practices – the Roman Catholic Practice of Eucharist and the game Dungeons and Dragons – to show how social critique can be mounted from within a practice. It begins by relating Alasdair MacIntyre’s notion of tradition to his earlier analysis of ideology and to the notion of ideology in general. The paper then tackles two dominant forms of ideology – Commodity Fetishism and Scientism – and shows how both Eucharist and Dungeons and Dragons promote critical thinking to resist those ideologies. In the process, it denies the Althusserian-Foucauldian analysis of ideology as mere materiality and defends a conception of ...


Five Stylish Recent Books Dec 2008

Five Stylish Recent Books

The China Beat Blog Archive 2008-2012

As New Year’s is often a time of glitz and glamour (and last-minute holiday giving), we thought we would feature a few books that often include text with smart things to say, but would also be worth getting just for the pictures.

1. Lynn Pan’s Shanghai Style: Art and Design Between the Wars

An examination of the polyglot artistic influences in early twentieth century Shanghai, by one of the city’s acute observers.

2. Claire Roberts and Geremie R. Barme eds.,The Great Wall of China

This book features essays by many scholars about the varied history and ...


Taiwan Top Five, Paul Katz Dec 2008

Taiwan Top Five, Paul Katz

The China Beat Blog Archive 2008-2012

As we prepare to ring out 2008, here are a few thoughts about some of the leading stories that have shaped Taiwan during the past year:

1. Back and Blue: Ma Ying-jeou sweeps into office as Taiwan’s new president, winning a convincing majority of the popular vote based on a platform promising a more stable relationship with China, economic prosperity, and clean government. Cross-Straits tensions have declined markedly, while the opening of direct links should bring great benefits to the citizens of both China and Taiwan. At the same time, however, the economy remains in the doldrums (see #2 ...


Zeng Jingyan Accepts Hu Jia’S Sakharov Prize Dec 2008

Zeng Jingyan Accepts Hu Jia’S Sakharov Prize

The China Beat Blog Archive 2008-2012

In late October, the European Parliament announced that it would award this year’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought to Hu Jia, an activist for HIV/AIDS and the environment currently imprisoned in Beijing. Hu and his wife, Zeng Jingyan, have been adept at using new media to share their message of human rights activism with an international audience, making Hu Jia better known outside China than inside it.

The award ceremony was held December 17. China has continued to protest the award.

Zeng Jingyan, who remains under surveillance at the couple’s apartment, accepted the award via video ...


Rock Is Not Revolution, Part Ii, Chris Heselton Dec 2008

Rock Is Not Revolution, Part Ii, Chris Heselton

The China Beat Blog Archive 2008-2012

One of the early rock musicians to make the jump to mainstream and become a household name was Xu Wei. His popularity is probably due to a style that some have called Chinese country or folk rock. This style does not have the explosive rage of heavy metal that many in the popular audience find hard to accept. Instead, he Xu Wei style is a more calm and relaxing melodic rock. One of the distinguishing characteristics of Xu Wei’s music is how similar it is to many of the romantic and nostalgic lyrical themes of pop music. Hometown (故乡 ...


Philosophical Tours Of China, From Dewey To Derrida, Jeff Wasserstrom Dec 2008

Philosophical Tours Of China, From Dewey To Derrida, Jeff Wasserstrom

The China Beat Blog Archive 2008-2012

Peter Zarrow’s piece last month on Bertrand Russell’s writing on and travels to China may have gotten some of our readers curious about the other two members of the triumverate of famous philosophers mentioned in the introduction to that post: the Indian poet and thinker Rabindranath Tagore and the American pragmatist and educational theorist John Dewey. What each of these two men thought about and did while in China could be well worth a posting. And perhaps in 2009 the blog will run such pieces, as it would be a very appropriate year to do so, at least ...


Rock Is Not Revolution, Chris Heselton Dec 2008

Rock Is Not Revolution, Chris Heselton

The China Beat Blog Archive 2008-2012

Rock is revolution! Rock is rebellion! Rock is democracy! Well, at least Axl Rose seems to think so with his new album Chinese Democracy. A rock legend singing to democracy in China seems almost poetically fitting. When people tend to think of China and rock music, it almost always comes back to democracy, more specifically, the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. Rock was the theme genre of the liberal, underground democratic movement. Ever since Cui Jian (崔健) played “I Have Nothing” (一无所有)—sometimes translated as “Nothing to My Name”—at the protest, rock music has been associated with democracy in ...


More Last Minute Gifts: Books From China Beat Contributors Dec 2008

More Last Minute Gifts: Books From China Beat Contributors

The China Beat Blog Archive 2008-2012

Many of our regular contributors have recent books out on China as well. We highly recommend the following as gifts for those many China non-experts in your life.

1. Factory Girls, Leslie T. Chang

For: The Worldly Progressive

Chang’s book, published this year to positive reviews (including this one at the New York Times by Howard French, where Factory Girlswas also recently named one of the Times‘ 100 notable books for 2008), follows the lives of young factory workers in Dongguang. Read an excerpt, published earlier at China Beat, here.

2. Socialism is Great!, Lijia Zhang

For: The Memoir ...


Divine Justice, Paul Katz Dec 2008

Divine Justice, Paul Katz

The China Beat Blog Archive 2008-2012

As China ascends to its place as a leading nation on the world stage, questions have arisen concerning the role of its legal system. As Joseph Kahn noted in a feature article entitled Deep Flaws, and Little Justice, in China’s Court System, “Justice in China is swift but not sure.” Many protests in China today center on the issue of justice, with one blogger responding to the January 2008 fatal beating by parapolice officials of a man trying to videotape a protest by lamenting “Where is justice? Where is the law? Aren’t there any rules in China?”

My ...


Last Minute Gifts: China Books Dec 2008

Last Minute Gifts: China Books

The China Beat Blog Archive 2008-2012

So you’ve put off holiday shopping until now. If you’d like to share your love of China this year, here are a few recommendations for old classics and more recent releases for the recipients on your list. All these books are widely available and relatively affordable.

1. Fortress Besieged, by Qian Zhongshu

For: The Literature Lover

We’ve written about this 1947 novel at China Beat before. It is a classic of Chinese literature, but not particularly well known in the West, making it the perfect gift for a well-read friend or relative.

2. The Question of Hu ...


Chinese In Laos, Caroline Finlay Dec 2008

Chinese In Laos, Caroline Finlay

The China Beat Blog Archive 2008-2012

Chimes jingle on gold-painted stupas and teenagers strum guitars to the beat of passing tuk-tuks in Luang Prabang, Laos’ UNESCO World Heritage sight nestled on the Mekong. Sadly, a more obtrusive rhythm has hit the scene: the squawk of walkie-talkie phones. Like a large percentage of Lao’s motorbikes, clothes and electronics, the walkie-talkie phones are a Chinese import, strapped to the belts of the increasingly numerous Chinese tourists visiting Luang Prabang, famous for its now fragile serenity.

China has begun to re-establish ties with sparsely populated Laos, which has historically aligned with Indochina War ally Vietnam. The Chinese have ...


Selectivity In Imaging The First Emperor, K. E. Brashier Dec 2008

Selectivity In Imaging The First Emperor, K. E. Brashier

The China Beat Blog Archive 2008-2012

The story of Qin may vaunt grandiose armies and new empires that encompass all under heaven, but it also extends to more humble images:

Li Si, [the chief minister of Qin], was a man of Shangcai in Chu. In his youth, when he was a minor clerk in the province, he noticed rats eating filth in the latrines of the clerks’ hostel; and if they approached a man or dog, they were generally scared of them. But when Si entered a granary, he observed that the rats in the granary were eating the stored-up grain, living underneath the main chamber ...


China Celebrates Human Rights, Jeremy Paltiel Dec 2008

China Celebrates Human Rights, Jeremy Paltiel

The China Beat Blog Archive 2008-2012

Today, December 12, 2008 Xinhua reports that China’s President and the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China Hu Jintao sent a letter to a symposium held by the China Association for the Study of Human Rights to commemorate International Human Rights Day, the 60th Anniversary of the passage by the UN General Assembly of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In his letter, Hu avers that since the founding of New China in 1949 China has made steady progress in the protection of human rights according to China’s “national situation” culminating in the solemn enshrinement of ...


Reclaiming Old Shanghai? Dec 2008

Reclaiming Old Shanghai?

The China Beat Blog Archive 2008-2012

A few weeks ago, it was reported that horseracing had returned to China for the first time since 1949. Though this time, the horses are running in Wuhan, horseracing in China was for a long time almost synonymous with Shanghai. In case that history is new to you, here are a few places to go for more on Shanghai’s racing history:

1. When news came earlier this year that the government might allow horseracing in Wuhan (and that spectators would be allowed to participate in a “lottery”—gambling remains illegal), Far Eastern Economic Review posted a short excerptfrom a ...


Reading Recommendations Dec 2008

Reading Recommendations

The China Beat Blog Archive 2008-2012

Gems on China often appear in unexpected places, and we were recently alerted to a handful worth looking into at the Literary Review of Canada. These three pieces review recent works in Chinese studies that touch on issues central to current discussions on the China blogosphere. We’ve included short excerpts below, but encourage you to make the leap to the longer versions.

The first is a review by Timothy Cheek, the author of a book on Mao that we flagged in one of our first posts last January, and a regular commentator on contemporary China, as here and here ...


Charter 08: Five Links Dec 2008

Charter 08: Five Links

The China Beat Blog Archive 2008-2012

The biggest China news story of the moment is the issuance of Charter 08, a declaration that was created to mark the 60th anniversary of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights and is inspired in part by “Charter 77,” the famous Czech group, and the arrest and detention of some of its signatories. Here are five things to read to help put the document into context, or learn more about those being help because of it.

1) Charter 08 itself, translated into English by Perry Link, can be found here.

2) A sophisticated exploration of the events of ...


From Iron Girls To Oriental Beauties, Hongmei Li Dec 2008

From Iron Girls To Oriental Beauties, Hongmei Li

The China Beat Blog Archive 2008-2012

In a piece I did for the Huffington Post on women and the Olympics, I provided a brief overview of the history of ideas about feminine beauty in China and their links to concepts of modernity. This post supplements it by looking at the shift in representations of women from celebrating iron girls to extolling Oriental beauties over the course of the still relatively short history of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

During the three decades that followed the 1949 founding of the PRC, one goal promoted in official discourse was that of erasing gender differences and promoting ...


Dead Man Talking, Zhang Lijia Dec 2008

Dead Man Talking, Zhang Lijia

The China Beat Blog Archive 2008-2012

On July 1 this year, a masked man named Yang Jia forced his way into the Zhabei police bureau in Shanghai, armed with a knife. In a killing rampage, he left six policemen dead and four injured. Last Wednesday, the 28-year-old unemployed man from Beijing was executed by lethal injection after the Supreme People’s Court decided to uphold the death sentence.

There was little surprise for the fate of a cop-murderer in a country where more people are thought to be killed by the capital punishment than the rest of the world combined. Yet the accused seems to have ...


Global Shanghai News Dec 2008

Global Shanghai News

The China Beat Blog Archive 2008-2012

Regular readers of this blog may think it is a bit redundant for me to do a “Self-promotion Saturday” post about Global Shanghai, 1850-2010: A History in Fragments, since I’ve managed to slip references to and images of the cover of my new book onto the site already in recent a piece about the 1980s and one about the Beijing Forum, cell phones, and a Chinese Obama joke.

Still, when you’ve worked on a publication as long as I labored on this one (even though it is a short, it took well over a decade to get from ...


Epicurean China: A Book Report, Kate Merkel-Hess Dec 2008

Epicurean China: A Book Report, Kate Merkel-Hess

The China Beat Blog Archive 2008-2012

Browsing the new book shelf of the local public library this week, I noticed not one but a whole selection of books that delve into the regional cuisines of China. Just last summer, Nina and Tim Zagat wrote an op-ed for The New York Times titled, “Eating Beyond Sichuan,” in which they called for greater diversity in the Chinese cuisine dished up around the U.S.—something more akin to the taste bud thrills anyone visiting or living in China experiences on a daily basis. There are intimations of Chinese cuisine diversity to come—such as the much-hailed developments in ...


Early Critics Of Deng Xiaoping—A 1978 Flashback, Jeff Wasserstrom Dec 2008

Early Critics Of Deng Xiaoping—A 1978 Flashback, Jeff Wasserstrom

The China Beat Blog Archive 2008-2012

Americans associate bottom-up challenges to Deng Xiaoping with images of the massive 1989 protests. But those demonstrations were not the first acts of dissent Deng had to deal with by any means. More than a decade earlier, right after his Reform era began, came the “Democracy Wall Movement”—named for a Beijing area where critics started putting up posters (some of which warned of Deng becoming a dictator) in 1978. The term “democracy wall” had been used for comparable spaces back in the 1940s (when Chiang Kai-shek’s authoritarianism was being attacked) and again during 1957’s “Hundred Flowers” campaign ...


Généticisation Et Responsabilité: Les Habits Neufs De La Gouvernance Néolibérale (Uncorrected Proofs), Antoinette Rouvroy Dec 2008

Généticisation Et Responsabilité: Les Habits Neufs De La Gouvernance Néolibérale (Uncorrected Proofs), Antoinette Rouvroy

Antoinette Rouvroy

Loin du phantasme spectaculaire d’une “maléabilité” génétique de l’être humain, et nonobstant les discours grandiloquants qui ont accompagné la très coûteuse exploration du génome humain, la “nouvelle génétique humaine” ne révèle ni ne porte atteinte à l’essence de l’être humain (encore faudrait-il qu’une telle essence puisse jamais être définie), mais révolutionne notre perception des causes des smilitudes et variations au sein de l’espèce humaine. Le néologisme ‘généticisation’ désigne la contamination progressive des discours sociétaux (médicaux, juridiques, politiques, sociologiques,...) par une logique réductionniste et essentialiste faisant des gènes la cause privilégiée sinon exclusive des variations ...


Whose Peoples’ Games?, James Leibold Dec 2008

Whose Peoples’ Games?, James Leibold

The China Beat Blog Archive 2008-2012

With the self-professed slogans of the Green Olympics, High-tech Olympics and the People’s Olympics, the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games (BOCOG) should have anticipated criticism. It left nothing to chance in hosting the world’s athletes and spectators—gleaming stadia, smiling faces and blue skies: all as ordered. But as many Western observers noted, BOCOG forgot to invite the Chinese people—with security guards, CCTV cameras and robot-like volunteers ensuring little spontaneity or popular emotion at the so-called People’s Games.

In the wake of the unprecedented media coverage of China’s global “coming out party,” few ...


A Soulful Memoir Of 1980s China Dec 2008

A Soulful Memoir Of 1980s China

The China Beat Blog Archive 2008-2012

I think that no matter when I read it, I would have been impressed by Lijia Zhang’s“Socialism is Great!” A Worker’s Memoir of the New China. There is simply a lot to like about any book that is well crafted, unsparingly honest, and alternately poignant and amusing. And these adjectives all apply to Zhang’s tale.

One sign of the care the author takes is that she neatly bookends the part of her life story she gives up with a pair of very different sorts of acts of rebellion. Readers first meet the narrator as she chafes ...


The Judicial Behavior Of Justice Souter In Criminal Cases And The Denial Of A Conservative Counterrevolution, Scott P. Johnson Dec 2008

The Judicial Behavior Of Justice Souter In Criminal Cases And The Denial Of A Conservative Counterrevolution, Scott P. Johnson

The University of New Hampshire Law Review

[Excerpt] “The following article documents the judicial career of Justice David Souter from his time served as an attorney general and state judge in New Hampshire until his recent tenure on the U.S. Supreme Court. Based upon his written opinions and individual votes, Justice Souter clearly has evolved into a more liberal jurist than ideological conservatives would have preferred in the area of criminal justice. Over the course of his judicial career, Justice Souter has gained respect as an intellectual scholar by attempting to completely understand both sides of a dispute and applying precedent and legal rules in a ...


Latinos And The 2008 Presidential Election: A Visual Database, Laura Limonic Dec 2008

Latinos And The 2008 Presidential Election: A Visual Database, Laura Limonic

Center for Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies

Introduction: This report examines the impact of Latino voters on the 2008 presidential election at both the national and state levels.

Methods: All data in this report were derived from the exit polls from Edison Media Research as published by CNN and Pew Hispanic Center’s analysis of the exit polls from Edison Media Research as published by CNN.

Results: Nationwide, Latinos voted overwhelmingly for Barack Obama over John McCain. Obama received 67% of the Latino vote, compared to 31% for McCain. Obama also received the majority of votes from other minority groups. Latinos increased their share of the national ...


Zhao Ziyang’S Legacy And 6/4 Memories Dec 2008

Zhao Ziyang’S Legacy And 6/4 Memories

The China Beat Blog Archive 2008-2012

As we prepare to mark the 30th anniversary of one turning point in the history of Chinese dissent (the appearance of Wei Jingsheng’s “Fifth Modernization” poster on December 5, 1978, the subject of a post we’ll run later this week), a debate on another major turning point (the 1989 protests and June 4th Massacre) may be re-emerging within China ahead of its 30th anniversary. One of the earliest reports (in English) that the Ministry of Culture had sought the resignation of the editor of the well-regarded magazine Yanhuang Chunqiu over its recent cover story praising purged leader Zhao ...


Catch That Pepsi Spirit: Photo Update Dec 2008

Catch That Pepsi Spirit: Photo Update

The China Beat Blog Archive 2008-2012

When Micki McCoy and Kelly Hammond sent China Beat the interview they conducted about Hammond’s participation in an international Pepsi commercial shoot in Xinjiang, we had a tough time tracking down images or videos. Though we still haven’t seen the commercial in full (let us know if you find it online), Hammond did recently send this photo of a “Mexican Uyghur” taken during filming. If that doesn’t make any sense to you, take a look at the original interview‘s discussion of the issues of nationalism, ethnicity, and commercialism that the Pepsi shoot raised for Hammond. Tags ...


International Terrorism:Role ,Responsibility And Operation Of Media Channles, Ratnesh Dwivedi Mr Nov 2008

International Terrorism:Role ,Responsibility And Operation Of Media Channles, Ratnesh Dwivedi Mr

Ratnesh Dwivedi

"Terrorism" is a term that cannot be given a stable defintion. Or rather, it can, but to do so forstalls any attempt to examine the major feature of its relation to television in the contemporary world. As the central public arena for organising ways of picturing and talking about social and political life, TV plays a pivotal role in the contest between competing defintions, accounts and explanations of terrorism. Which term is used in any particular context is inextricably tied to judgemements about the legitimacy of the action in question and of the political system against which it is directed ...


Liberdade, Ética E Direito, Paulo Ferreira Da Cunha Nov 2008

Liberdade, Ética E Direito, Paulo Ferreira Da Cunha

Paulo Ferreira da Cunha

Further than Ethics concieved as mere obedience, Republican Ethics expresses the idea of duty for freedom and Liberty. After Law concieved as only duty and imperative norms from power to the subjects, there is the possibility of a fraternal law, in new patterns. This article explores several ways in a new ethics and a new law paradigms, after the objective Roman Law and the subjective modern Law.