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Manipulating Authoritarian Citizenship: Security, Development, and Local Membership in China
Hybrid event in Bunche 10383

Speakers: Samantha Vortherms (Political Science, UCI)
Discussant: C.K. Lee (Sociology, UCLA)

The author discusses how authoritarian citizenship is characterized by particularistic membership and group-based rights rather than inclusive membership and individual rights. Autocrats use domestic citizenship regimes—institutions defining sub-national membership that predicate rights entitlements—to both strategically limit and extend socio- economic rights to ensure the authoritarian bargain. They apply this framework to the highly institutionalized case of China, where domestic citizenship regimes are modeled explicitly after international immigration regimes to manipulate access to citizenship within the country. Drawing on semi-structured interviews, government policies, and a nation-wide database of local citizenship membership policies in China, the author traces how local citizenship creates closure while development incentivizes strategic inclusion.

Nov 4, 2022 12:00 PM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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