Ep. 16: Local Governance and Accountability in China – Dan Mattingly

published April 4, 2019

How do autocratic regimes secure political obedience, and implement unpopular policies, without always resorting to outright coercive tactics?  In a provocative new book, Yale University political scientist Dan Mattingly argues that, in China, state power exercised through local governments relies on local civil society groups—like temple organizations or lineage associationsto quietly infiltrate, observe, and thereby control Chinese rural society.  In this episode, he discusses his book and its core arguments about “soft” authoritarian repression with Neysun Mahboubi, in a conversation which extends to the basic nature of local governance in China and the various mechanisms by which it may (or may not) be held to account.  The episode was recorded on April 12, 2018.

Sound engineering: Neysun Mahboubi