Information for Autocrats: Representation in Chinese Local Congresses

Melanie Manion,Vor Broker Family Professor of Political Science, Duke University
| Stiteler Hall B26, 208 S. 37th Street

Drawing on qualitative fieldwork and data analysis of original probability surveys of 5,130 local congressmen and women and their constituents, Melanie Manion shows how and why the priorities and problems of ordinary Chinese influence both who gets elected to local congresses and what the congresses do once elected. She argues that representation in Chinese local congresses taps local knowledge for local governance, thereby bolstering communist party rule.

Melanie Manion is Vor Broker Family Professor of Political Science at Duke University. She studied philosophy and political economy at Peking University in the late 1970s, was trained in Far Eastern studies at McGill University and the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, and earned her doctorate in political science at the University of Michigan. Her research focuses on contemporary authoritarianism, with empirical work on bureaucracy, corruption, information, and representation in China. She is the recipient of numerous research awards, including awards from the National Science Foundation, Fulbright Foundation, Social Science Research Council, and American Council of Learned Societies. Her newest research, in collaboration with Charles Chang, analyzes state management of the social media in China. Her newest book, Information for Autocrats (Cambridge University Press, 2015), examines representation in Chinese local congresses. Previous publications include Retirement of Revolutionaries in China (Princeton University Press, 1993), Corruption by Design (Harvard University Press, 2004), and Chinese Politics: New Sources, Methods, and Field Strategies (edited with Allen Carlson, Mary Gallagher, and Kenneth Lieberthal, Cambridge University Press, 2010). Her articles have appeared in journals including American Political Science Review, Comparative Political Studies, and China Quarterly. She is an award-winning teacher.

Co-sponsored by Comparative Politics Workshop