Authors Name: 
Frank Weng
University of Toronto
Politics & International Relations
Highly commended

"Why Recent Hukou Reform is Insufficient in Addressing Urban-Rural Disparities"

Hukou reform has recently captured the attention of many political scientists. This essay seeks to contribute to the discourse. This essay is divided into three sections: First, the essay uses Weber’s three types of exclusion (social, economic, legal) from the theory of social differentiation as the framework to categorically examine the issues created by the hukou system. Then, the essay demonstrates the attempts central and local governments have made to confront the issues. Finally, the essay argues that the attempts have been insufficient in addressing the issues, because current policies target only legal exclusion while ignoring social and economic exclusions due to contradictions between the motivation for reform and the concerns of rural migrants and due to a lack of political will.