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The Limits to Buying Stability in Tibet: Tibetan Representation and Preferentiality in China's Contemporary Public Employment System

  • Andrew M. Fischer (a1) and Adrian Zenz (a2)
Abstract

Based on an entirely unexplored source of data, this paper analyses the evolution of Tibetan representation and preferentiality within public employment recruitment across all Tibetan areas from 2007 to 2015. While recruitment collapsed after the end of the job placement system (fenpei) in the early to mid-2000s, there was a strong increase in public employment recruitment from 2011 onwards. Tibetans were underrepresented within this increase, although not severely, and various implicit practices of preferentiality bolstered such representation, with distinct variations across regions and time. The combination reasserted the predominant role of the state as employer of educated millennials in Tibetan areas to the extent of re-introducing employment guarantees. We refer to this as the innovation of a neo-fenpei system. This new system is most clearly observed in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) from 2011 to 2016, although it appears to have been abandoned in 2017. One effect of neo-fenpei, in contrast to its predecessor, is that it accentuates university education as a driver of differentiation within emerging urban employment. The evolution of these recruitment practices reflects the complex tensions in Tibetan areas regarding the overarching goal of security and social stability (weiwen) emphasized by the Xi–Li administration, which has maintained systems of minority preferentiality but in a manner that enhances assimilationist trends rather than minority group empowerment.

根据一组完全没有被研究过的原始数据, 本文分析了 2007 年至 2015 年之间, 整个藏族地区公职人员招聘中藏族的代表比例和优待的演变。虽然在 2000 年代早中期工作分配制度结束后, 招聘一度瓦解, 2011 年以后公职人员招聘又有强劲增长。藏人在这波增长中没有被充分代表, 但是并不严重。各种隐性的优待招聘实践还增加了这种代表比例, 在不同的地区和时间有明显的区别。这种组合重申了国家在受教育的千禧一代的就业中的主导地位, 以至于到了重新引入就业保障的地步。我们把此种创新称为新分配制度, 这种情形在西藏自治区最为明显。相对于它的前身, 新分配的一个效应就是它强调了大学教育在新兴城市就业中作为划分的驱动因素。这些招聘实践的演变显示了习李政府强调的安全和维稳的总体目标在藏族地区的复杂的张力 ——它虽然保持了少数民族优待的制度, 却在某种意义上强化了藏族的被同化而不是少数民族的自主性。

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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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