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Authoritarian ContainmentPublic Security Bureaus and Protestant House Churches in Urban China$
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Marie-Eve Reny

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190698089

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190698089.001.0001

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Containment and Authoritarian Regime Resilience

Containment and Authoritarian Regime Resilience

(p.102) 5 Containment and Authoritarian Regime Resilience
Authoritarian Containment

Marie-Eve Reny

Oxford University Press

Containment enables church leaders to secure themselves space for the informal practice of religion outside state institutions. It also minimizes the risks that churches are punished for avoiding the central government’s regulations on religious affairs. Yet the strategy yields uneven benefits for unregistered churches and the local state. This chapter accounts for how containment contributes to the resilience of China’s authoritarian regime. It depoliticizes house church leaders, feeds divisions between compliant and dissident church leaders, and generates information about unregistered churches that ultimately makes local governance less co-optive and less coercive. It then discusses the circumstances in which containment might not yield its intended outcome, that is, empower house churches in ways that unsettle the regime.

Keywords:   containment, authoritarian regime resilience, depoliticization, compliance, dissidence, information, bargaining breakdown

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