The China Quarterly is pleased to announce that the 2012 Gordon White Prize was awarded to Yan Xiaojun for his article entitled “To Get Rich Is Not Only Glorious”: Economic Reform and the New Entrepreneurial Party Secretaries, published in the June 2012 issue.

This article examines the profound transformation market reforms have brought to the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) rural grassroots organizations. Focusing on the political rise of private entrepreneurs and other economically successful individuals who recently obtained village Party secretary appointments in a north China county, the article explores their differing promotion channels, power bases, political resources and motivations to take up the CCP’s grassroots leadership position. The article demonstrates that the variety among the new entrepreneurial Party secretaries – from large factory owners to de facto farm managers – shaped the network resource, factional affiliation and socio-political capital they rely upon to exercise their newly attained power. It also shows the crucial role played by community-based endogenous forces in transmitting the power of economic liberalization into dynamics for the reshuffling of the Communist Party leadership at the grassroots level.

The £500 prize is awarded annually for the most original article or research report published in The China Quarterly in the relevant year.

Read the entire paper free of charge here until 31st August 2013.

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