Among the theses submitted in June 2010, the following three theses were selected to be published in the Centre working paper series.
Tallyn Gray: "Justice and the Khmer Rouge: Concepts of Just Response to the Crimes of the Democratic Kampuchean regime in Buddhism and the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia at the Time of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal."
Abstract:The purpose of this study was to analyze two approaches to concepts of a just response to the atrocities of Democratic Kampuchea as they are presently operating in the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia and in Khmer Buddhism. It assessed what Buddhism and the ECCC offer in answer to Cambodians’ justice needs and where both ways of conceiving justice overlap and diverge. The research was a qualitative study from a constructivist perspective using semi-structured in-depth interviews with the monastic community, an official at the ECCC and a group of therapists at an NGO working with survivors. It concluded that in order to answer the justice deficit left by the Khmer Rouge era a polyphonic response working at a micro and macro level, involving both an official process and others rooted in local cultural dynamics is required in order to provide survivors with ways to express their suffering, receive acknowledgement of it, and have their persecutors held to account. Both Buddhism and the ECCC offer ideas on retributive and restorative modes of justice that are complementary to each other and provided a way to calm minds that are still deeply wounded 30 years after the end of the regime.
Kuang Xianwen: "Collective Resistance of Chengzhongcun Villagers in China: A Case of GuangZhou, Guangdong Province."
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine the factors contributing to the emergence and persistence of collective action in chengzhongcun (literally known as “village(s) amid the city”) in China. Based on a one-and-a-half month fieldwork in Guangzhou, China, this study was designed to answer the questions of what triggered collective action in chengzhongcun and how and why chengzhongcun villagers could sustain their collective resistance under a repressive local state. While not denying the importance of the structural opportunity for collective action in chengzhongcun, rational considerations of the villagers and their cultural features were taken as crucial factors in triggering and sustaining collective action in chengzhongcun. First of all, rational considerations of the villagers had spurred them to converge and rejuvenate a social network which had long been weakening, while the cultural features embedded in the social network had strengthened solidarity of the protesters, leading to the emergence of collective action. Later on when the local authority repressed the collective action, rationality and the cultural features of the villagers had together led to labor division among them, which in fact helped to sustain the collective action in chengzhongcun.
Sven Stegmann: "From the Caterpillar to the Butterfly: Social Entrepreneurship as a New Social Force in China."
Abstract: This mainly explorative study examines the nature and environmental conditions of Social
Entrepreneurship in China. It makes use of the theory of the network society, which allows to analyze the relationship of three mutually related elements: the global network, the changing role of the nationstate, and the question of identity. The last factor is, as will be argued, closely related to social movements, such as Social Entrepreneurship. The theory will help to provide an idea of how and why Social Entrepreneurship is constructing itself in the current Chinese and global setting. This setting will be described in more detail in terms of the Chinese cultural setting, the structure of civic society, and the Chinese political environment. The combination of these insights in turn will lead to a description of the status quo. In that part, the emerging market of Social Entrepreneurship in China and the specific and important role of the internet will be investigated in more detail. In a last part, the insights will be re-examined in order to analyze the crucial factors of a future failure or success of the movement. The conclusion will contain some concrete recommendations for members of the movement in China and elsewhere.