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Special Feature


Isabelle Thireau
Translated by Laetitia Mottet
p. 2-6


The studies collected in this special issue offer the reader a wide variety of subjects. The working practices observed in a Residents’ Committee in Beijing (Wang Di), the interactions between chengguan (the quasiofficial units of the urban police) and street vendors, also in Beijing (Emmanuel Caron), the different actors involved in renovation projects in the Old Shanghai and their interactions (Zhang Kai), the expropriation and expulsion of the inhabitants of a village in Guangdong Province (Boris Svartzman), the legal recognition of adopted children in Kunming and its environs (Karine-Hinano Guérin), development brokerage in the Tibetan areas of Qinghai province (Xenia de Heering): the diversity of places and topics may be surprising.

Nevertheless, not only does each article complement or renew the literature in its own field, but bringing them together also fulfils a specific purpose: to shed light on the relations between ordinary Chinese citizens and those who, invested with official administrative functions, no matter how disparate, are in a position to represent the authority of the state and of the Party at the most local level. It is thus not a matter of opposing two clearly delineated and homogenous blocs, but rather of starting out from specific situations characterised by an asymmetry between those who perform official duties of control or management and those they are responsible for controlling or managing…

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Bibliographical reference

Isabelle Thireau, « Editorial », China Perspectives, 2013/1 | 2013, 2-6.

Electronic reference

Isabelle Thireau, « Editorial », China Perspectives [Online], 2013/1 | 2013, Online since 01 March 2013, connection on 24 March 2019. URL :

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About the author

Isabelle Thireau

Isabelle Thireau is a Senior Researcher at the CNRS and Professorat the EHESS-CECMC (School for Advanced Studies in Social Sciences- Research Center on Modern and Contemporary China), Paris,currently posted to the CEFC.

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