The Chinese Mayor
BAMPFA Student Committee Pick
An assistant professor of law and political science at UC Berkeley, Stern’s research looks at law in Mainland China and Hong Kong, especially the relationship between legal institution building, political space, and social mobilization.
This fascinating look at politics, power, and change in contemporary China focuses on Gang Yambo, the hardworking and idealistic mayor of the city of Datong in Shanxi province from 2008 to 2013. The Chinese Mayor observes the end of Geng’s tenure as he attempts to transform the polluted coal-mining center into a hub for cultural tourism, razing tens of thousands of homes to rebuild the walls of the old city. Geng is convinced that the sacrifices he asks of Datong’s inhabitants are a small price to pay for progress. Those he has displaced have a different opinion.