Drawing on quantitative and qualitative research conducted in central China, the presentation will address the different causes of rural land disputes and the political and legal actions that farmers take in response.
Professor Susan Whiting (Ph.D, Michigan; B.A. Yale) is Associate Professor of Political Science and Adjunct Associate Professor of Law and International Studies at the University of Washington in Seattle. She specializes in Chinese and comparative politics, with particular emphasis on the political economy of development. Her first book, Power and Wealth in Rural China: The Political Economy of Institutional Change, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2001. She has contributed chapters and articles on property rights, fiscal reform, governance, contract enforcement and dispute resolution to numerous publications. She has done extensive research in China and has contributed to studies of governance, non-governmental organizations, and fiscal reform under the auspices of the World Bank, Ford Foundation and the Asian Development Bank, respectively. She is currently co-PI with Veronica Taylor on a three-year grant for "Empowering Rural Communities: Legal Aid and the Rule of Law in Rural China." Professor Whiting's current research interests include land disputes and the use of the courts in China as well as the politics of fiscal reform in transition economies. Among her courses, she teaches Comparative Politics, Chinese Politics, Qualitative Research Methods, and Law, Development, & Transition, a course offered jointly in the Department of Political Science, the Jackson School of International Studies, and the Law, Societies and Justice Program.General information on WUN seminars at Leeds can be found at http://www.leeds.ac.uk/international/wun/wun_seminars.html