Yueran Zhang

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Yueran Zhang

Curriculum Vitae
Research Interests
Comparative-Historical Sociology, Political Economy, State and Class Politics, Mobilizations and Demobilizations, Development, Global and Transnational, Theory

I am a political and comparative-historical sociologist interested in political economy, class politics, theories of the state, and development in the Global South. My dissertation examines a surprising, significant yet almost completely overlooked policy episode in China's early post-Mao years (the late 1970s and early 1980s): a quite substantial policy push to envision, strengthen and radicalize workers' democracy in industrial enterprise management. Tracing the rise and fall of this policy agenda, this project raises and seeks to shed light on broader questions regarding the relationships between the communist party-state and the working class, between democratization and marketization, between grassroots mobilizations and policy reform, and between multiple competing visions of "socialism" in the highly uncertain and contingent transformations on which "actually existing" socialist societies embarked, and which eventually led to state socialism's transmutation into capitalism.

My previous research uses the case of taxation on private homeownership as a lens to both make sense of a key moment - the "Chongqing Model" - in China's recent political history and advance a Bourdieusian state theory. It was published in Theory and Society and has won multiple paper awards from the American Sociological Association (ASA).