China Studies Centre


The emergence of the new rich in China is likely to have a significant impact on local power structures.  Understanding this impact, the processes that caused it and the possible outcomes are the focus of this project.


Professor Jeffrey Riegel, Dr Minglu Chen, Dr Beatriz Carrillo Garcia

Research Location

China Studies Centre

Program Type



Its basic innovative perspective is that local elites and power relations may be shaped not simply by the interaction between economic activities and political position but also through the influence of families in given localities.   Through an examination of a range of different localities across China, the project aims primarily: 

  • to understand the interrelationships between social, economic and political capital in the determination of local power structures;
  • to contribute to the discussion of class formation, particularly focusing on local elites; and
  • to identify the factors determining local variations in elite formation and local power structures.
In the process, the project will also:
  • assess the changing nature of the state, and in particular the new rich’s view of the Party-state and their appetite for further change;
  • identify the dynamics of local politics in the specific locations where research is being undertaken; and
  • map economic activities in each area under examination in order to be able to understand market development.    

Additional Information

The project is led by Professor David Goodman and involves Dr Beatriz Carrillo and Dr Minglu Chen.

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China, social change, political change, power elites, economics

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is: 829

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