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Interview with Qin Gao, Author of Welfare, Work, and Poverty: Social Assistance in China

Official state media reports in China frequently speak of how the Communist Party-led government has “lifted 700 million people out of poverty” since implementing economic reforms in the late 1970s. Yet there are still millions of people in the country who struggle to maintain long-term employment and constantly teeter on the edge of a financial cliff. Dibao, or the Minimum Livelihood Guarantee, is a government program intended to help its recipients step back from the edge of that cliff. By distributing cash payments to those who qualify, Dibao is meant to provide China’s poorest citizens with the funds to cover their basic expenses during periods of un- or under-employment. First implemented in Shanghai in 1993, Dibao was expanded to all urban areas in 1999 but has only been available to rural residents since 2007; there are now approximately 60 million people receiving welfare payments through the program. AAS Member Qin Gao, a professor at the Columbia University School of Social Work ...

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AAS 2017 Election Results

Thanks to all the AAS Members who voted in this year’s election! We are pleased to announce the results: Vice President Prasenjit Duara (Duke University) China and Inner Asia Council Tobie Meyer-Fong (Johns Hopkins University) Anne Gerritsen (Warwick University, UK) Jack Chen (University of Virginia) Northeast Asia Council Akiko Takenaka (University of Kentucky) Hwansoo Kim (Duke University) Eiko Maruko Siniawer (Williams College) South Asia Council Sara Shneiderman (University of British Columbia) Purnima Dhavan (University of Washington) (Note: only two SAC candidates elected due to a tie vote last year) Southeast Asia Council Pamela McElwee (Rutgers University) Wasana Wongsurawat (Chulalongkorn University) Yosef Djakababa (Universitas Pelita Harapan) Council of Conferences Noriko Murai (Asian Studies Conference Japan; Sophia University) Rachael Hutchinson (Mid-Atlantic Region; University of Delaware) Ethan Segal (Midwest Conference on Asian Affairs, Michigan State University) C ...

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Update on Chinese Censorship of Academic Publications

As reported in mid-August, representatives of the Chinese government asked Cambridge University Press (CUP) to remove from its Chinese website 315 China Quarterly articles on so-called “sensitive” topics (Taiwan, the Cultural Revolution, Tiananmen, etc.). At that time, CUP also conveyed to the Association for Asian Studies a Chinese request that 100 Journal of Asian Studies articles be blocked in China. Under pressure, CUP reversed its decision and lifted the block of the China Quarterly articles before any JAS articles were affected. AAS has issued a statement in strong defense of academic freedom. Since then, AAS officers and staff have continued monitoring the situation. There are no new updates concerning our Journal of Asian Studies, which remains fully accessible to AAS members in China. However, other publications have been affected by censorship in China, and this episode has prompted many members of the academic community to discuss academic integrity, scholarly labor, and possible respo ...

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#AsiaNow Speaks with Jisoo M. Kim

Jisoo M. Kim is Director of the George Washington University’s Institute for Korean Studies and Korea Foundation Associate Professor of History, International Affairs, and East Asian Languages and Literatures. She is author of The Emotions of Justice: Gender, Status, and Legal Performance in Chosŏn Korea, published by University of Washington Press and winner of the 2017 AAS James B. Palais Book Prize. To begin with, please tell us what your book is about. By asking the question of justice in premodern Korea and how it was shaped by emotions, my book contends that the state’s recognition of the sentiment of being wronged permitted every subject regardless of gender or status to seek justice by voicing grievances to the state. This study illuminates the intersection of law, emotions, and gender in premodern Korea. In its approach, the work contests the typical image of the Chosŏn state (1392–1910) as being socially rigid because of its hereditary status system, slavery, and Confucian ...

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Hong Kong Noir

I’ve just landed in Hong Kong to do several different things, most of which fit into one of the three standard academic categories of activities. I’ll participate in an experimental class session connecting Hong Kong and American students via Skype (teaching); visit a local site associated with the topic of protest that I write about a lot (research); and speak about censorship at the Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents’ Club, drawing on my experiences as Editor of the Journal of Asian Studies during what some are calling the “China Quarterly Affair” (service). As I prepared for the trip, I pondered questions relating to these teaching, research, and service events, as well as the session of the Hong Kong International Literary Festival I’ll moderate, at which Ian Johnson will present material from his new book on the religious revival in China after Mao. Even more, though, I thought about two queries linked to a Literary Festival event that I’ll attend not as a teacher, ...

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