In a poignant presentation, Dr. Yu will provided a detailed analysis of the causes of organized peasant resistance and rural instability, and presented video clips of his interviews with peasant leaders and, in their own words, these leaders’ views of the rural conditions in today’s China.
Dr. Yu's comments were based on the three years he spent in Hunan province in the late 1990s studying the causes and manifestations of peasant protest. His book based on his research, Politics in the Yue Village, is considered one of the best works on rural China in recent years. In the book, Dr. Yu examines the reach of the Chinese state in the rural areas and the transformation of state-society relations after de-collectivization. Dr. Yu’s most recent influential research on rural instability in contemporary China has been published in China’s most prominent policy journal, Strategy and Management.
His first article, which appeared in the spring issue of the journal this year, detailed organized peasant resistance in Hunan in recent years and sent shock waves around China’s political establishment. Chinese press reported that, after reading Dr. Yu’s article, President Hu Jintao called him into his office and asked for a lengthy briefing on conditions in the rural areas. In the latest issue of Strategy and Management, Dr. Yu published another controversial article that analyses the emergence of mafia states and deterioration of governance in rural areas.