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Rationalising stability preservation through Mao's not so invisible hand

Rationalisierung der Gewährleistung von Stabilität durch Maos nicht so unsichtbare Hand
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Trevaskes, Susan

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Abstract This paper considers the process of constructing the official discourse of 'weiwen' (stability preservation) in the policing arena in the first decade of the 21st century. It focuses on the pivotal period after 2003 when policing priorities were shifted from 'striking hard' at serious crime to pursuing 'weiwen' to contain burgeoning protests and civil dissent, as a move to maintain stability in the early to mid-years of the Hu Jintao-Wen Jiabao harmonious society era. We observe how Mao has been central in this process. Stability preservation operations have been rationalised through Maoist ideology using some staples of Maoist discourse, particularly 'social contradictions', and policing authorities have adopted key methodological aspects of Maoist campaign-style policing to embed this new 'weiwen' focus in the everyday agendas of policing, while ever more 'mass incidents' disrupt the maintenance of stability in China.
Keywords China; political stability; social stability; public opinion; protest; Mao Tse-tung; political system; party state; domestic security; human rights; civil rights; repression
Classification Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture; Political System, Constitution, Government
Free Keywords stability preservation; weiwen; policing; social contradiction
Document language English
Publication Year 2013
Page/Pages p. 51-77
Journal Journal of Current Chinese Affairs, 42 (2013) 2
Issue topic Preserving stability: process, dimensions and ideological exercise
ISSN 1868-4874
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works