Strategic Behavior of Private Entrepreneurs in China : Collective Action, Representative Claims, and Connective Action
This paper starts out from James C. Scott’s seminal book “Weapons of the Weak” dealing with everyday forms of collective action by private entrepreneurs. It raises the question by what kind of formal and informal mechanisms Chinese entrepreneurs exert political influence in order to protect or enforce their interests. The author explored two aspects: First, the way in which private entrepreneurs in China act in a collective manner, i. e. as a strategic group; and second, how collective action by private entrepreneurs is altering both political structures and the institutional setting of the political system and what effect this is having on stabilization of the system as a whole. In addition, this paper examines patterns of formal and informal representation of private entrepreneurs in Chinese politics. The author contends that as Chinese entrepreneurs increasingly turn to patterns of collective action they are developing into a coherent group with a broad range of strategies aimed at safeguarding their interests, and that in so doing they are playing a salient role as system stabilizers.