Failed Foreign Interventions? Transnational Making and Unmaking of Health Politics in China

Colloquium | February 7 | 4-6 p.m. | 180 Doe Library

 Yan Long, Assistant Professor, Sociology, UC Berkeley

 Center for Chinese Studies (CCS)

Do foreign interventions matter in changing state-society relations in China? Many scholarly models cast external interventions as “cures” for all that ails struggling local communities and activists in repressive environments by providing political opportunities or resources. Others argue that interventions are doomed to failure given strong authoritarian states such as China and Russia are simply not susceptible to foreign forces. Instead of taking either a celebratory or cynical perspective, this talk intervenes in the debate by arguing that transnational program may expand political participation while producing and exacerbating participatory inequality, which could ironically strengthen the authoritarian apparatus of governance. This argument is developed based on the case of infectious disease.