Professor Daniel Mattingly awarded Gaddis Smith International Book Prize

September 27, 2021

The Council on East Asian Studies congratulates Daniel Mattingly, Assistant Professor of Political Science, on receiving the Gaddis Smith International Book Prize for best first book, The Art of Political Control in China (Cambridge University Press).

Established in 2004 to recognize the distinguished legacy of former director of the MacMillan Center Gaddis Smith, the prize is awarded for books on international topics written by current members of the Yale faculty. Award recipients receive a research appointment at the MacMillan Center and a $5,000 research award.

Below is a citation for The Art of Political Control in China:

When and why do people obey political authority when it runs against their own interests to do so? This book is about the channels beyond direct repression through which China’s authoritarian state controls protest and implements ambitious policies from sweeping urbanization schemes that have displaced millions to family planning initiatives like the one-child policy. Professor Mattingly argues that China’s remarkable state capacity is not simply a product of coercive institutions such as the secret police or the military. Instead, the state uses local civil society groups as hidden but effective tools of informal control to suppress dissent and implement far-reaching policies. Drawing on evidence from qualitative case studies, experiments, and national surveys, the book challenges the conventional wisdom that a robust civil society strengthens political responsiveness. Surprisingly, it is communities that lack strong civil society groups that find it easiest to act collectively and spontaneously resist the state.

For more information about the MacMillan Center and its International Book Prizes, visit its website.

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