'New Economic Elites in China: The social basis of local power'?
David Goodman, Professor of Chinese Politics. Acting Director, Chinese Studies Centre and Director, Institute of Social Sciences, University of Sydney
A joint White Rose East Asia Centre and Worldwide University Network Seminar
Room G.03, 20 Cromer Terrace -
The emergence of the new rich in China is likely to have a significant impact on local power structures. Though the interaction of politics and economics is well understood, local elites and power relations may also be shaped through the influence of families in given localities. This paper reports on research currently under way in Lanzhou, Qingdao, Taiyuan, Zhongshan, Suzhou and Kunming. Research has proceeded from analysis of contemporary economic and political leadership in each locality to develop historical perspectives on elite formation. Although the research for this project continues, findings to date highlight the significance of family background back to before 1949 in the emergence of the economic elites of 2009; the extent to which the new economic elites have parents in the party-state, and grandparents in the pre-1949 ruling class; and the importance of family narratives to individual behaviour.