China's Changing Political Landscape / Edition 1

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While China's economic rise is being watched closely around the world, the country's changing political landscape is intriguing, as well. Forces unleashed by market reforms are profoundly recasting state-society relations. Will the Middle Kingdom transition rapidly, slowly, or not at all to political democracy? In China's Changing Political Landscape, leading experts examine the prospects for democracy in the world's most populous nation.

China's political transformation is unlikely to follow a linear path. Possible scenarios include development of democracy as we understand it; democracy with more clearly Chinese characteristics; mounting regime instability due to political and socioeconomic crises; and a modified authoritarianism, perhaps modeled on other Asian examples such as Singapore. Which road China ultimately takes will depend on the interplay of socioeconomic forces, institutional developments, leadership succession, and demographic trends.

Cheng Li and his colleagues break down a number of issues in Chinese domestic politics, including changing leadership dynamics; the rise of business elites; increased demand for the rule of law; and shifting civil-military relations. Although the contributors clash on many issues, they do agree on one thing: the political trajectory of this economic powerhouse will have profound implications, not only for 1.3 billion Chinese people, but also for the world as a whole.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This collection of extremely strong essays by a distinguished cast of China experts is the best book I know on the non-economic and political prospects of the People's Republic (PRC)...highly stimulating." —Jonathan Fenby, Asian Affairs

"Cheng Li and the contributors to China's Changing Political Landscape offer a comprehensive and deftly presented overview of fundamental transformations in China's political trajectory. The contrasting and sometimes clashing views of the authors reflect the enormously rich and multidimensional nature of the post-Mao reform experience. They provide us with a solid foundation for understanding not only China's present, but its future as well." —Calvin Chen, Mount Holyoke College, Pacific Affairs

"In this edited book, fifteen top China scholars offer compelling, empirically rich and illuminating snapshots of trends in the development of China's political system. Moving beyond the "trapped transition" paradigm, they assess whether democracy will emerge from incremental political change in China." —Stephen Trott, University of Toronto, The China Journal

"Cheng Li and his colleagues at The Brookings Institution invited a stellar group of scholars to consider how changes in Chinese politics affect the country's prospects of democratization.The result is an outstanding volume that considers the question from a variety of angles and contains diverse opinions on the subject." — Perspectives on Politics

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780815752097
  • Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
  • Publication date: 4/2/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 362
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Cheng Li is a senior fellow in the John L. Thornton China Center at the Brookings Institution. His previous books include China's Leaders: The New Generation (Rowman and LIttlefield, 2001) and Rediscovering China: Dynamics and Dilemmas of Reform (Rowman and Littlefield, 1997).

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Table of Contents

Foreword   John L. Thornton     vii
Acknowledgments     xi
Introduction: Assessing China's Political Development   Cheng Li     1
Chinese Discourse about Democracy
China's Political Trajectory: What Are the Chinese Saying?   Andrew J. Nathan     25
Ideological Change and Incremental Democracy in Reform-Era China   Yu Keping     44
Institutional Development and Generational Change
Institutionalization and the Changing Dynamics of Chinese Leadership Politics   Alice L. Miller     61
Institutionalization of Political Succession in China: Progress and Implications   Jing Huang     80
Will China's "Lost Generation" Find a Path to Democracy?   Cheng Li     98
Economic Actors and Economic Policy
Business Interest Groups in Chinese Politics: The Case of the Oil Companies   Erica S. Downs     121
China's Left Tilt: Pendulum Swing or Midcourse Correction?   Barry Naughton     142
Agents of Change: Media, Law, and Civil Society
Political Implications of China's Information Revolution: The Media, the Minders, and Their Message   Richard Baum     161
Legalization without Democratization in China under Hu Jintao   Jacques deLisle     185
Staying in Power: What Does the Chinese Communist Party Haveto Do?   Joseph Fewsmith     212
Forces for and against Democracy in China
Fighting Corruption: A Difficult Challenge for Chinese Leaders   Minxin Pei     229
The Political Implications of China's Social Future: Complacency, Scorn, and the Forlorn   Dorothy J. Solinger     251
Straining against the Yoke? Civil-Military Relations in China after the Seventeenth Party Congress   James Mulvenon     267
External Models and China's Future
Learning from Abroad to Reinvent Itself: External Influences on Internal CCP Reforms   David Shambaugh     283
Taiwan and China's Democratic Future: Can the Tail Wag the Dog?   Chu Yun-han     302
Contributors     323
Index     331
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