Authoritarian entitlement and constraint: Women's representation in Chinese local congresses
Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Asian Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
My original dataset about the composition of provincial and prefectural congresses in China shows a puzzling contrast between ethnic majority women and ethnic minority women, which cannot be explained by socioeconomic factors. I use a mixed-method approach to examining the puzzle. I conducted fieldwork in China including interviews and archival research. I also run statistical analysis of my original datasets about deputy biographies and proposals in ethnically diverse areas. I argue that the answer to the puzzle lies in political calculations by central and local leaders of the Chinese Communist Party. Central leaders translate the regime's general strategies of mobilizing different groups into congress. Local leaders struggle to satisfy multiple quotas and care about the loyalty of deputies. Besides solving the puzzle, I point out some phenomena related to women’s issues and selection effects. I also use national surveys to examine how citizens differ in engagement with congress and perceptions of congress. My findings highlight how authoritarian institutions shape different dimensions of women's representation.