Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

CANCELLED – Welfare for Autocrats: How Social Assistance in China Cares for its Rulers

March 26 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Event Navigation

Weatherhead East Asian Institute and China Center for Social Policy Event

Please join for a lecture with:

Jennifer Pan, Assistant Professor of Communication

Stanford University

Moderated by:

Yao Lu, Associate Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology

Columbia University

What are the costs of the Chinese regime’s fixation on quelling dissent in the name of political order, or “stability”? This book project shows how China has reshaped its major social assistance program, Dibao, around this preoccupation, turning an effort to alleviate poverty into a tool of surveillance and repression. Novel datasets and a variety of methodologies show how this distortion of Dibao damages perceptions of government competence and legitimacy and can trigger unrest among those denied benefits. The project traces the transformation of China’s approach to enforcing order at the turn of the 21st century and identifies the phenomenon of seepage whereby one policy—in this case, quelling dissent—alters the allocation of resources and goals of unrelated areas of government.


Jennifer Pan is an Assistant Professor of Communication at Stanford University. Her research examines the strategies authoritarian regimes employ to perpetuate their rule, including censorship, redistribution, and responsiveness, using large-scale data from traditional and digital media as well as experiments on media platforms. Her work has appeared in the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, Comparative Political Studies, Science, and other peer-reviewed publications.

Pan received her Ph.D. from Harvard University’s Department of Government. She graduated from Princeton University, summa cum laude, in 2004, and until 2009, she was a consultant at McKinsey & Company based in New York and Beijing. She has also worked for the Chinese Center for Disease Control, the Clinton Foundation HIV/AIDS Initiative, and the Clinton Global Initiative.


This is a Weatherhead East Asian Institute Lectures Series event.

No registration Required



March 26, 2020

12:00 PM-1:30 PM



School of Social Work, Room  C03

1255 Amsterdam Ave


Cosponsored by: School of Social Work, Columbia University


March 26
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Event Categories:
Event Tags: