What role do nationalism and popular protest play in China's foreign relations? Chinese authorities permitted anti-American demonstrations in 1999 but repressed them in 2001 during two crises in U.S.-China relations. Anti-Japanese protests were tolerated in 1985, 2005, and 2012 but banned in 1990 and 1996. Protests over Taiwan, the issue of greatest concern to Chinese nationalists, have never been allowed. To explain this variation, Powerful Patriots identifies the diplomatic as well as domestic factors that drive protest management in authoritarian states. Because nationalist protests are costly to repress and may turn against the government, allowing protests demonstrates resolve and makes compromise more costly in diplomatic relations. Repressing protests, by contrast, sends a credible signal of reassurance, facilitating diplomatic flexibility.
In Powerful Patriots, Dr. Jessica Weiss traces China's management of dozens of anti-foreign protests–both those that occurred and those that were prevented–and their diplomatic consequences between 1985 and 2012, drawing upon over 14 months of field research, including more than 170 interviews with nationalist activists, protesters, officials, and analysts in China, Japan and the United States.
Dr. Weiss discussed her new book at a National Committee program on September 4, 2014 at the Henry Luce Foundation.
Bio:Jessica Chen Weiss is assistant professor of political science at Yale University and research fellow at the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies. She is the author of Powerful Patriots: Nationalist Protest in China’s Foreign Relations (Oxford University Press, 2014). The dissertation on which it is based won the 2009 American Political Science Association Helen Dwight Reid Award for best dissertation in international relations, law and politics.
Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in International Organization, China Quarterly, and the Journal of Conflict Resolution. Research support has been provided by the National Science Foundation, Uppsala University, Princeton-Harvard China & The World Program, Bradley Foundation, Fulbright-Hays program, and University of California Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation.
Born and raised in Seattle, Washington, Weiss received her Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego in 2008. As an undergraduate at Stanford (B.A., 2003) she founded FACES, the Forum for American/Chinese Exchange.