By Jeremy Wallace
China's administration of urbanization is an under-appreciated consider the regime's sturdiness. The chinese language Communist get together fears "Latin Americanization" -- the emergence of hugely unequal megacities with their attendant slums and social unrest. Such towns threaten the survival of nondemocratic regimes. To wrestle the possibility, many regimes, together with China's, desire towns in policymaking. Cities and Stability indicates this "urban bias" to be a Faustian discount: towns will be stabilized for a time, however the giant in-migration from the geographical region that effects can generate the stipulations for political upheaval. via its hukou procedure of inner migration regulations, China has shunned this quandary, concurrently helping urbanites and holding farmers within the nation-state. The method helped hinder social upheaval even in the course of the nice Recession, while thousands and thousands of laid-off migrant staff dispersed from coastal towns. Jeremy Wallace's strong account forces us to reconsider the connection among towns and political balance during the constructing international.
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Extra info for Cities and Stability: Urbanization, Redistribution, and Regime Survival in China
Proximity to the heart of the regime implies having a greater ability to impose costs on that regime. A protest in a village or outlying city is something that elites in the capital do not have to experience through anything other than news reports or dispatches from provincial officials. A march that blocked roads in the capital, on the other hand, may well keep government officials out of their offices and stuck in snarls of traffic (as well as viscerally angry at the protesters). By increasing the share of the population that lives in the largest city, urban concentration directly increases the proximity of the population to the center of power and commerce, increasing the hazard to authoritarian survival.
In natural forests with their irregular lines and variety of plant and animal life, one cannot see in beyond the first few trees. 41 The outside observer can see all the way to the end of the row. These orderly rows of trees are legible for an outsider to understand, and the cost of acquiring information about the different trees is substantially reduced. One does not need to wade through bramble to examine any given trunk that might be of interest or count the total number of trees present. “Natural” cities are similarly impenetrable.
The Arab Spring cases of Tunisia and Egypt fit into this broad category. 27 Another channel that connects protests to regime collapse is through ousting of the regime by external forces. 29 Obviously, these different mechanisms can work in concert. Protests exacerbate a civilian elite split that in turn induces the military to plot a coup or call for outside forces to remove the dictator. Protests might lead mid-level officials to conclude that the regime’s days are numbered and begin to steal everything that they can, sealing the regime’s fate in the process.