S-Space Graduate School of International Studies (국제대학원) Dept. of International Studies (국제학과) 국제지역연구 국제지역연구 vol.11 (2002)
중국 농촌의 기층간부의 위치와 역할의 변화를 통해 본 국가-사회 관계
State-Society Relationship in China: The Position and Role of the Grass-roots Level Rural Cadres
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 국제학연구소
- 국제지역연구, Vol.11 No.4, pp. 75-101
- This study examines the relationship between the state and society in China which has become one of the hottest topics in the field of China study, based on the field research in Chenguang Village, Tianjin City.
To evaluate the strength of the state and examine the state-society relation in Maoist China, I explore the position and role of cadres mainly in the process of policy implementation at the grass-roots level. The state was strong enough to bring about radical changes to and exert firm control over rural society. Yet, when state policies were not in their best interests, peasants, sometimes with the help of local cadres, practiced the "everyday forms of resistance." Local cadres who were at the key point of engagement between the state and society played the dual role of the representatives of peasants and the representatives of state authority. My data indicate that, in general, local cadres leaned more toward the role of state agents.
Changes in state- society relations during the post-Mao era are reflected in the status and role of local cadres. The position of local cadres has been weakened. Not only has their role as state agents been reduced, but their role as village representatives has also been weakened. Whereas cadres" power during the Maoist era was inclusive and ubiquitous, that is, they could influence every sphere of all villagers" lives, in the post-Mao era it is limited and selective. That is, village cadres influence the economic conditions of only a small number of villagers.
The village cadres" role as brokers in the reform period is highly noteworthy. After the reform, village cadres helped the peasants deal with outside world, especially higher authorities, by providing the necessary connections in order to get the job done. The post-reform job of cadre is mostly concerned with the private interests of an individual or a group of individuals. The cadres" extensive connections, therefore, have become one of their important sources of power.