Rebellion and Repression in China, 1966-1969

Colloquium: Center for Chinese Studies | October 4 | 4-6 p.m. | 180 Doe Library

 Andrew Walder, Sociology, Stanford University

 Heather Haveman, Sociology, UC Berkeley

 Center for Chinese Studies (CCS)

Drawing on accounts in more than 2,200 published county and city annals, this presentation provides an overview of the successive waves of rebellion and repression that spread across China from mid-1966 to the end of 1969. Several new observations emerge from broad patterns in these accounts. First, the collapse of civilian state structures due to rebel power seizures spread with remarkable rapidity far across China, and deeply into rural areas. Second, the power seizures in early 1967 were not due primarily to student and worker insurgencies, but to internal rebellions by party-state officials against their own superiors. Third, the violent factional battles of 1967 and 1968 despite widespread local interventions by the armed forces, and intensified as the rebellions neared their end. And fourth, the number of people killed and otherwise victimized by the forces of order near the end of this period was vastly larger than the numbers generated previously by rebellion and factional conflict. Although the overall number of victims was large, as a percentage of the population the intensity of the violence was well below comparable historical episodes.

 ccs@berkeley.edu, 510-643-6321