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Dorothy Solinger

Dorothy Solinger
University of California Irvine, US · Political Science

Ph.d.

About

95
Publications
8,455
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2,581
Citations
Introduction
I'm working on the urban poor in China and the Minimum Livelihood Guarantee, using interviews, documentary materials and secondary literature.

Publications

Publications (95)
Article
Inside China's Automobile Factories: The Politics of Labor and Worker Resistance. By Lu Zhang. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015. xiv, 240 pp. ISBN: 9781316500569 (cloth). - Volume 75 Issue 2 - Dorothy J. Solinger
Article
Full-text available
The 1999 relief plan for China’s Minimum Livelihood Guarantee (called, for short, the dibao)—originally designed to assist all of the urban poor—changed by the mid-2000s, emphasizing employment, not handouts, for the able-bodied impecunious. Also, the center ordered that cities should subsidize just the most ill and needy. We find that only some Ch...
Article
Unknotting the Heart: Unemployment and Therapeutic Governance in China. Jie Yang . Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2015. xxv + 255 pp. $24.95. ISBN 978-0-8014-5660-2 - Volume 224 - Dorothy J. Solinger
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To situate today's social assistance program conceptually and historically, this paper presents three ideal-typical stances states may adopt in welfare provision, especially for indigent populations: (1) extend assistance to accord with social citizenship rights—or to fulfill the Confucian concept of the rite of benevolence; (2) offer subsidies to...
Chapter
Geographical mobility in China–the critical component of which is rural to urban movement–and the problem of the migrants’ inclusion into the ranks of city citizens have always been, at base, matters of the expenditure and transfer of state resources. A secondary, related dimension has been the institutionalised discrimination that incomers from th...
Article
The Chinese Communist Party has been suspicious of people engaged in commercial activity on the streets ever since it took over the country in 1949, but the reasons for this have shifted in a paradoxical way over the decades. In the years when Mao Zedong ruled the nation according to his understandings and beliefs about socialist values and for sev...
Article
This paper investigates whether the 22 million or so urban recipients of the Minimum Livelihood Guarantee (the zuidi shenghuo baozhang), whose per capita family income falls below a locally set poverty line, can be called a ‘class’. It also explores if they experience ‘class consciousness’. It draws on theoretical writings on class and class consci...
Article
This book was born when an ensemble of leading scholars prepared papers for a late 2009 conference on the broad theme of postsocialist developmental trajectories out of socialism, each in accord with his or her own disciplinary calling and regional specialization. Each appraised one of the following themes in one or more of the countries in questio...
Book
This book examines the 20-year aftermath of the 1989 assaults on established, state-sponsored socialism in the former Soviet bloc and in China. It brings together prominent experts on Eastern Europe and China to examine the respective trajectories of political, economic and social transformations that unfolded in these two areas, while also compari...
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In the broader social science literature, most studies of social protection investigate welfare in democracies, and at the national level, and typically assume that welfare is given in order to influence voting. This paper, to the contrary, considers social assistance in authoritarian China at the urban level. Its findings are compatible with an ex...
Article
Full-text available
Most studies of social protection investigate welfare in democracies at the national level, and typically ask how welfare affects voting. This paper, to the contrary, considers social assistance in authoritarian China at the urban level. It finds two dissimilar logics influencing the distributional decisions of lower-level administrators. That is,...
Chapter
Full-text available
In China, we allow some people to become rich first through their own efforts, but an excessive income gap will destabilize social order, and is something that needs government attention…The side effects of this huge gap are mainly seen in the following… aspects. First, as earnings increase, living standards have been generally raised, but low-inco...
Article
After the Chinese leadership became cognizant of the negative social externalities of marketization--especially potential threats to its hallowed objectives of social stability and successful state enterprise reform--it initiated a novel welfare approach, the dibao, to handle the people most severely affected by economic restructuring. I review the...
Chapter
Full-text available
The lore of the Chinese “laid-offs” fate is often piteous, sorry, to say the least.1 Yet despite the generally gloomy perspective, one feature of the policy of xiagang had a potentially more sunny aspect: this has to do with the Party elite’s bout of unease soon after visiting an onslaught of market capriciousness upon its old putative ally, the ur...
Book
In this explicitly comparative work, Dorothy J. Solinger examines the effects of global markets on the domestic politics of major states. In the late 1970s, leaders around the world faced a need both to continue productive investment and to cut labor costs to compete internationally in a changed world market. To accommodate forces seemingly beyond...
Article
Full-text available
[Excerpt] Putting it differently, I inquire, then: why did countries that elected to act similarly globally turn out to vary so strikingly internally, at the domestic level, when it came to resultant interactions between unions and the state? That the book focuses on three very dissimilar states serves to demonstrate the wide sweep of countries tha...
Article
Full-text available
The cities, for the most part, appeared up until the middle of the 1990s to be islands within the larger Chinese political economy in which job-secure workers could be certain that their livelihood, health, education, and living abodes would evermore undergird their and their children's sustenance. At least until the late 1980s, urbanites who stuck...
Article
Full-text available
After the Chinese leadership became cognizant of the negative social externalities of marketization--especially potential threats to its hallowed objectives of social stability and successful state enterprise reform--it initiated a novel welfare approach, the dibao, to handle the people most severely affected by economic restructuring. I review the...
Chapter
The Impact of PoliticsWestern Literature: Disciplinary ApproachesGeography and Urban PlanningPolitical ScienceSociologyAnthropologyCultural StudiesUrban Studies in the PRCThe FutureNotesBibliography
Article
Full-text available
After the Chinese leadership became cognizant of the negative social externalities of marketization--especially potential threats to its hallowed objectives of social stability and successful state enterprise reform--it initiated a novel welfare approach, the dibao, to handle the people most severely affected by economic restructuring. I review the...
Article
Full-text available
A prominent specialist on the political economy of China compares the responses of Chinese workers to globalization-induced job cuts and benefit reductions with those of workers in two quite different political contexts—France and Mexico. A hypothesis, based on the "terms of attachment" among states, workers, and their unions, is advanced to accoun...
Article
Full-text available
The emergence of a new urban underclass in China is a major challenge confronting the Communist Party, and its potential for fomenting instability has unnerved the Party. A strong case can be made, however, that the members of this emerging group have been cast into their current plight chiefly as a result of the marketization reforms that the regi...
Article
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Despite a fundamental shift in China since 1978, elements of continuity persist. The concept of path dependence can be refined by distinguishing two levels on which policy is made and implemented: tactical and programmatic/strategic. Path dependence is lodged in institutional practices, not necessarily in the content of particular programs. This fo...
Article
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As marketization of the economy and a concomitant decentralization of economic decision making became increasingly entrenched after 1980, new factors appeared, both political and economic, that determined a place's possibilities for growth, instead of - as in the past - its position in the state plan alone had. Thus, the provinces became much more...
Article
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At the time of the convening of the 16th Party Congress in November 2002, the Party leadership confronted an urban society splintered by the blessings and the blows of two decades of ever-deepening marketization. This article explores the composition of urban society at that juncture, and aims to delineate its changing social structural break-down....
Article
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Introduction: Popular Protest and State Legitimation in Twenty-First Century China 1. Legitimacy Crisis in China? 2. The New Crowd of the Disposessed: The Shift of the Urban Proletariat from Master to Mendicant 3. Society's Masters' Struggle to Survive: State Workers, Joblessness and Contention in Post-Deng China 4. Comrades and Collectives in Arms...
Article
On 11 December 2001, after fifteen years of tortuous and often tense negotiations, China formally joined the World Trade Organization (WTO). The governments and media of both the US and China hailed the event as a cause for rejoicing. Ever since the two parties signed their own bilateral agreement twenty-five months earlier, publicity as well as th...
Article
Full-text available
The government's projects and claims to succour the workers made redundant by its economic restructuring of the past decade have all run into severe difficulties. Indeed, all three of the state's undertakings directed at the furloughed are burdened by stunning weaknesses that cast enormous doubt upon reports of the opportunities both for the furlou...
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As of mid-2001, after six or seven years of massive bloodletting from the rolls of state-owned firms, one stark outcome is apparent. No one, and certainly not the central government, knows how many once-state workers have been removed from their posts. This article aims to characterize the chaos rampant in discussions of this programme, the human s...
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Informalisation of the Urban Chinese Economy: Its Signs and Its Statistics Along the streets of Chinese inland cities these days, the service sector, starved nearly to death until the early 1980's, seems full of life. You can get your shoes shined for two yuan 1 by three different peddlers on just one block, buy the same pair of nylons for the same...
Article
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The astonishing electoral victories by opposition presidential candidates in Korea, Taiwan, and Mexico all followed a remarkably similar pattern, but it is one that may lead to difficulties for democratic consolidation.
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Using euphemisms and albeit haltingly, the leaders of the PRC in its 40s began blasting the barricades their forebears had constructed to design what they had considered a fully pristine, orthodoxly socialist, separate urban realm. The result of this recent demolition is that, as the system turns 50, its political elite-along with the markets they...
Article
DOROTHY J. SOLINGER compares the migration regimes in China, Germany, and Japan, all of which have shared a xenophobic basis toward "foreign workers" (in China's case, including its own peasants) along with a drive to develop economically at almost any cost. She identifies common factors that have limited the application of rights for these people,...
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Introduction The precipitous, unprecedented sackings of millions and millions of urban industrial workers since the Fifteenth Party Congress of late 1997 have riveted the attention of observers. The picture is of enforced idleness among the workforce, unpaid wages and pensions and steadily escalating numbers of layoffs, accompanied by a mounting dr...
Article
The decentralization of fiscal and administrative powers to lower echelons of government is arguably the most outstanding facet of the economic reforms of the past decade and a half. Following this move, the relationship between the centralgovernment and the localities – which has certainly undergone shifts of some sort since 1980 – has been the su...
Article
China Deconstructs: Politics, Trade and Regionalism. Edited by GoodmanDavid S. G. and GeraldSegal. [London: Routledge, 1994. xiv + 364 pp. Hard cover £40.00, ISBN 0-415-11833-6; paperback £12.99, ISBN 0-415-11834-4.] - Volume 143 - Dorothy J. Solinger
Article
This chapter draws on findings about migration from comparative, historical, and theoretical literature. Two sets of variables are presented: first, traits that characterize migrant populations; and, second, factors present in receiving societies that determine the life chances of transient peoples. This framework shows that integration for the flo...
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Is the migration of peasants into China's larger cities since the onset of economic reform in 1980 threatening fundamental institutional change? If so, in what ways? What is the state's response to the challenge it may pose? The article analyzes two simultaneous processes, one benign from an official view, the other ultimately destructive. The firs...
Article
A collection of articles and symposia on controversial social issues, which include: affirmative action the permanence of racism thesis the use and utility of racial/ethnic categories multiculturalism immigration the underclass debate and democracy/equality.
Article
For more than three decades, all manner of critics of socialist states - non-socialists and socialists alike- have excoriated one of the most unfortunate consequences of the Stalinist-style command economy: its proclivity to favor heavy industry over other economic sectors. Ironically, these systems set up in the name of "the people's" interest sho...
Article
This paper explains the reform of the regional structure of the Chinese economy in the late 1970s and 1980s in light of the concept of uncertain paternalism. This qualified state protectivism encourages local dependence on the central government but also trains localities in tactics of encapsulation, self-reliance, and hoarding. The concept of unce...
Article
In mid May 1983 the Wuhan Public Security Bureau posted a notice along the walls of Hankow on “temporary residence certificates” for non-native personnel coming into the city to work. Since a check of the State Council Bulletin and the People's Daily for the months surrounding this time (from 1 January through 31 July 1983) turned up no similar cen...
Article
In the wake of the watershed events of 1967, most of the analysis of Chinese domestic politics has focused on the fallen “four,” subsequent purges of Leftists and their replacement by “pragmatists,” and the no longer guarded “reassessment” of the old Chairman's role in the Chinese revolution. This discussion has usually been directed at the personn...
Article
There is an uncanny similarity between regulations on merchant activity in various medieval Western European countries, on the one hand, and, on the other, those in the People's Republic of China (PRC) just after its institution (see Appendix). My discovery of this resemblance informed the research on which this paper is based and directed my atten...
Article
At the National Conference on Learning from Taching in Industry, held in Peking in May 1977, vice-premier of the State Council, Yu Ch'iu-li, first publicly mentioned the recreation of regional “economic systems.” Although there has been no reference to any administration for governing these regions, the use of the term “systems” ( t'i-hsi ), which...
Article
The varying experiences of different minority groups in China's Yunnan province are analyzed in light of the power resources that each possesses. The size, location, and impregnability of the group account for whether or not it can exert leverage on the regime in attempting to obtain cultural, political, and economic benefits. The author found that...
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This paper compares the impact of early 1980s crises upon China, France, and Mexico to probe the linkage between global positioning and welfare response. It shows how crisis led, in all three cases, to leaders’ decisions to shift once-worker-friendly regimes to new policy sets that seemed to place global concerns above proletarian interests. Thus,...
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During the first three decades of the People's Republic, a number of factors affected research on cities (and, in fact, research of any sort about China). In the first place, a phenomenally well-organized Communist Party rather quickly imposed an overarching dominance and stultifying uniformity upon culture, manifestations of gender, social categor...
Article
This Special Report containing two essays explores the implications of China's WTO membership for that country's economic development and social stability. Dorothy J. Solinger of the University of California at Irvine highlights the negative impact of China's WTO membership on the country's rampant unemployment. Lawrence C. Reardon of the Universit...
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Full-text available
The concept of ‗globalisation'—with its whirls of productive factors (capital, tradables, funds and stocks) circling the planet—conjures up images of abstract financial and material flows and motion. And just as surely, there is a correlative human element, similarly in the throes of mobil- ity, tossed about by the pressures and lures of money chan...
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This paper contrasts the old "crowd" of the revered urban proletariat from the days of Mao Zedong to the new "crowd" of laid-off workers. It utilizes concepts from the book, CROWDS AND POWER, by Elias Canetti, to characterize the opposed characteristics of the two crowds, and details the plight of the current crowd, as well as highlighting some con...

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