Thursday, September 29th, 2022 Book Launch: Outsourcing Repression: Everyday State Power in Contemporary China

Thursday, September 29, 20224:00PM - 6:00PMThe Vivian and David Campbell Conference Facility, 1 Devonshire Place, Toronto, ON, M5S 3K7


Join us for the book launch of Outsourcing Repression authored by the Asian Institute’s faculty, Professor Lynette Ong!

*Followed by reception*

About this event:

How do states coerce citizens into compliance while simultaneously minimizing backlash?

In Outsourcing Repression (Oxford University Press, 2022), Lynette H. Ong examines how the Chinese state engages nonstate actors, from violent street gangsters to nonviolent grassroots brokers, to coerce and mobilize the masses for state pursuits, while reducing costs and minimizing resistance. She draws on ethnographic research conducted annually from 2011 to 2019–the years from Hu Jintao to Xi Jinping, a unique and original event dataset, and a collection of government regulations in a study of everyday land grabs and housing demolition in China. Theorizing a counterintuitive form of repression that reduces resistance and backlash, Ong invites the reader to reimagine the new ground state power credibly occupies. Everyday state power is quotidian power acquired through society by penetrating nonstate territories and mobilizing the masses within. Ong uses China’s urbanization scheme as a window of observation to explain how the arguments can be generalized to other country contexts.

Author: Lynette Ong (Professor in the Department of Political Science and the Asian Institute, Munk School, University of Toronto)


Andrew Mertha (Director of the SAIS China Global Research Center, and George and Sadie Hyman Professor of China Studies, Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies)

Minxin Pei (Tom and Margot Pritzker ‘72 Professor of Government and George R. Roberts Fellow, Claremont McKenna College)

Dan Slater (Ronald and Eileen Weiser Professor of Emerging Democracies and Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies Director; Professor of Political Science, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor)

Sponsors: Asian Institute and the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy Co-Sponsor: Department of Political Science, University of Toronto


Author’s Bio:

Lynette H. Ong is Professor of political science at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, the University of Toronto. She is the author of Outsourcing Repression: Everyday State Power in Contemporary China (Oxford University Press, 2022), The Street and the Ballot Box: Interactions between Social Movements and Electoral Politics in Authoritarian Contexts (Cambridge University Press, Elements Series in Contentious Politics, 2022), and Prosper or Perish: Credit and Fiscal Systems in Rural China (Cornell University Press, 2012). Her publications have also appeared in Perspectives on Politics, Comparative Politics, Foreign Affairs, among other outlets. Twitter: @onglynette.