Elites, Networks and Power in Modern China

Chinese Industrial Cooperatives (CIC)/Indusco

Founded in 1938 to provide material and medical support to China in its war of resistance against Japan, the CIC movement offers an intriguing case for exploring the mediating role of a wide range of Chinese and foreign experts (agronomists, physicians, social workers, missionaries, etc.) in between high-level institutions (Chinese and foreign governments), the Chinese population on the ground, and lobbying organizations in Asia and America. This project will also investigate how CIC experts, in cooperation with grassroot leaders and the general population, laid the foundation for a unique model of social organization based on locally self-ruled cooperatives, which anticipated the cooperative model established under the People’s Republic China (PRC) after 1949. Sources for this project include the archives of Indusco at Columbia University, the archives of the ministry of industry (Archives No.2 in Nanjing, Guoshi guan in Taipei), local newspapers and personal papers of prominent actors in the movement (Edgar Snow, Rewi Alley, Columbia University).