Shaken But Not Stirred: The Chinese State and the Sichuan Earthquake

Sichuan Province after 2008 earthquake

On 12 May 2008, a 7.9-magnitude earthquake hit Wenchuan in Sichuan, claiming more than 85,000 lives, many of them schoolchildren whose classrooms collapsed. It was a paradoxical moment of great tragedy and great hope, with a new sense of openness and civil society emerging in the quake's immediate aftermath. A decade on, its legacy has proved much darker including Great Leap Forward style urbanisation drives and an entrenchment of stability maintenance. In 2008, during the brief window of openness, Louisa reported on the quake for NPR. In March of this year, she convened a panel on the Sichuan Earthquake at the Association for Asian Studies in Washington D.C., featuring Colorado College's Christian Sorace, Georgia State University's Maria Repnikova, Emory University's Xu Bin and Yi Kang from Hong Kong Baptist University. A special issue of Made In China was also produced to mark the anniversary.

Image credit: World Bank Photo Collection, Flickr

Updated:  6 October 2016/Responsible Officer:  Director/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team