China's Democratic Future: How It Will Happen and Where It Will Lead / Edition 1

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Overview

The end of communist rule in China will be one of the most momentous events of the twenty-first century, sounding the death knell for the Marxist-Leninist experiment and changing the lives of a fifth of humanity. This book provides a likely blow-by-blow account of how the Chinese Communist Party will be removed from power and how a new democracy will be born.

In more than half a century of rule, the Chinese Communist Party has turned a poor and benighted China into a moderately well-off and increasingly influential nation. Yet the Party has failed to keep pace with change since stepping aside from daily life in the late-1970s. After nearly a hundred years of frustrating attempts to create a workable political system following the overthrow of the last dynasty, the prospects for democracy in China are better than ever, according to Bruce Gilley.

Gilley predicts an elite-led transformation rather than a popular-led overthrow. He profiles the key actors and looks at the response of excluded elites, such as the military, as well as interested parties such as Taiwan and Tibet. He explains how democracy in China will be very "Chinese," even as it will also embody fundamental universal liberal features. He deals with competing interests -- regional, sectoral, and class -- of China's economy and society under democracy, addressing the pressing concerns of world business. Finally he considers the implications for Asia as well as for the United States.

Columbia University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Journal of Democracy - Merle Goldman

China's Democratic Future is a provocative, engaging, and serious book previewing what may become one of the major political events of teh twenty-first century.

Charlotte Observer - Billy O. Wireman

China is stirring, and Bruce Gilley has insightfully identified the evolving plot.

The China Journal - Barrett L. McCormick

The book is an enjoyable and thought-provoking read that is strongly recommended... This book applies high caliber scholarship to a daring argument...He does a profound service to the field by creatively enlarging our canvas, and reminds us that we are unlikely to find truth without taking risks.

Political Science Quarterly - Patricia M. Thronton

Gilley has produced a lucidly written portrayal of a Chinese polity that may indeed exist one day.

Taiwan Journal of Democracy - Joseph Fewsmith

Gilley has challenged us all to think more clearly about the factors involved in shaping China's future.

Journal of Chinese Political Science - Josephe Cheng

An ambitious book.

Journal of Democracy
China's Democratic Future is a provocative, engaging, and serious book previewing what may become one of the major political events of teh twenty-first century.

— Merle Goldman

Charlotte Observer
China is stirring, and Bruce Gilley has insightfully identified the evolving plot.

— Billy O. Wireman

The China Journal
The book is an enjoyable and thought-provoking read that is strongly recommended... This book applies high caliber scholarship to a daring argument...He does a profound service to the field by creatively enlarging our canvas, and reminds us that we are unlikely to find truth without taking risks.

— Barrett L. McCormick, Marquette University

Political Science Quarterly
Gilley has produced a lucidly written portrayal of a Chinese polity that may indeed exist one day.

— Patricia M. Thronton

Taiwan Journal of Democracy
Gilley has challenged us all to think more clearly about the factors involved in shaping China's future.

— Joseph Fewsmith

Journal of Chinese Political Science
An ambitious book.

— Josephe Cheng

New York Review of Books - Nicholas D. Kristof

China's Democratic Future is a very smart and provocative book, as well as a tour of ancien regime China before it becomes ancien.

San Francisco Chronicle - Sandip Roy

Bruce Gilley, a China hand for more than a decade, puts forward the provocative hypothesis in China's Democratic Future: How It Will Happen and Where It Will Lead that within the next few decades, perhaps as early as 2010, China will become a democracy. He is in good company. Deng Xiaoping promised a democracy by 2035.

Washington Post - James Harding

China seems out of sight, out of mind. Gilley reminds us that this is a monumental mistake.... He leaves no doubt that for the Chinese Communist Party the end of days is rapidly approaching.

Far Eastern Economic Review - Richard Halloran

A deep knowledge of China...his work is worthy of the best in Chinese geomancy

International Affairs - Stephen Green

China's Democratic Future is an often thought-provoking work of political futurology...The first thing to praise is the bold, normative vision of the book...Gilley has done us a service.

New York Review of Books
China's Democratic Future is a very smart and provocative book, as well as a tour of ancien regime China before it becomes ancien.

— Nicholas D. Kristof

Booklist

Although the author speaks to his immediate audience of China specialists such as himself, his prose is accessible to anyone wishing to study contemporary China in a serious way.

San Francisco Chronicle
Bruce Gilley, a China hand for more than a decade, puts forward the provocative hypothesis in China's Democratic Future: How It Will Happen and Where It Will Lead that within the next few decades, perhaps as early as 2010, China will become a democracy. He is in good company. Deng Xiaoping promised a democracy by 2035.

— Sandip Roy

Baltimore Sun

For one vivid glimpse of the future, you can turn to Bruce Gilley's China's Democratic Future: How It Will Happen and Where It Will Lead, which lays out a thoughtful, unusually detailed scenario for democratic change in the coming years.

Washington Post
China seems out of sight, out of mind. Gilley reminds us that this is a monumental mistake.... He leaves no doubt that for the Chinese Communist Party the end of days is rapidly approaching.

— James Harding

Far Eastern Economic Review
China's Democratic Future evinces careful research, clear writing, and a deep knowledge of China.... His work is worthy of the best in Chinese geomancy.

— Richard Halloran

Topics
A deep knowledge of China...his work is worthy of the best in Chinese geomancy

— Richard Halloran

International Affairs
China's Democratic Future is an often thought-provoking work of political futurology...The first thing to praise is the bold, normative vision of the book...Gilley has done us a service.

— Stephen Green

Publishers Weekly
This book is an optimistic prediction from a journalist with more than a decade's experience reporting for the Far Eastern Economic Review. Gilley argues, against Huntington's Clash of Civilizations, that China's culture is not alien to democratic possibilities and that democratization will result not from popular overthrow of the existing Communist one-party state but through gradual reform from above. He anticipates a "revolution in values" through which the elite will becomes more public-spirited and less self-interested. Such faith in a moral elite is a prominent shared theme in both Eastern and Western political philosophies, but recent trends in Chinese political culture point toward deepening corruption and cynicism rather than such a moral revival. Gilley's arguments and evidence are thoughtful, provocative and well expressed, but his optimism seems forced. He sees hope in the contradiction between aspirations and opportunities generated by a market economy and the restrictions of an autocratic political system. He speaks of "Society" versus the "State." However, this neat dichotomy obscures the reality that most of China's business elite is successful because of close ties to state officials; the one-party bureaucratic state is part of what stabilizes the fortunes of those now on top. Multiparty political competition and true rule of law could be more dangerous to China's business elite than muddling through with the bureaucratic devil they already know. Though Gilley may overestimate the incentive for insiders to promote democratization, this book is an important contribution to the debate about China's future. (Apr.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Gilley (Tiger on the Brink: Jiang Zemin and China's New Elite) is well qualified to write about Chinese democracy, as he spent more than a decade in China and Hong Kong working for the Far Eastern Economic Review Magazine and currently studies political science at Princeton. Instead of building on the previous work of historians Merle Goldman and Elizabeth Perry (Changing Meanings of Citizenship in Modern China), Gilley draws on the political philosophy of John Rawls. Here he asserts that for Chinese democracy to be effective, Chinese policies have to prevent elite groups from subverting the system. The policies must focus on sustaining innovation, effective regulation, safety, environmental protection, and financial health. Gilley gives a fascinating account of what democracy will look like, arguing that it will unquestionably emerge in China because "the moral being is increasingly making its presence felt and demanding more space for self realization." He discusses the basic requirements of how to write a new constitution, form a merit-based bureaucracy, establish federalism, anticipate the possible secession of Tibet and Xinjiang, and administer fair political campaigns and elections. Finally, he argues that China's democratization will likely transform global politics at every level. Highly recommended for academic and public libraries.-Peggy Spitzer Christoff, Rockville, MD Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231130851
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 9/14/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.70 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Bruce Gilley is an assistant professor of political science at Portland State University. He serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Democracy and is the author of Tiger on the Brink: Jiang Zemin, China's New Elite, Model Rebels: The Rise and Fall of China's Richest Village, and, with Andrew J. Nathan, China's New Rulers: The Secret Files. He lived in China and Hong Kong for more than a decade, working as a journalist for the Far Eastern Economic Review Magazine.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

IntroductionPart 1: Crisis Democracy and ChinaDemocracy's SpreadThe Struggle for Democracy ( China's Democratic PotentialBroken PromisesThe Republican FailureMao's ChinaPost-Mao ReformsThe Last Days of DictatorshipThe Torment of CCP RuleThe PRC SystemA Metaphor for TransitionState and SocietySustaining Economic GrowthThe Social MalaiseA Troubled DiplomacyPolitical DysfunctionResources for ChangeTocqueville's ParadoxThe Privatization of Economic LifeNew IdeasNew SocietiesDemocratic Diplomacy and US PolicyBorder Effects and Global Civil SocietyPolitical DecompressionPart II: Transition Breakdown and MobilizationPredicting ChangeGradual Democracy?Metastatic CrisisPopular MobilizationViolenceLast DitchismCollapse?The Eve of TransitionDemocratic BreakthroughExtrication or Overthrow?The Heroes of RetreatThe PactEnding the PRCThe ImmediateThe Interim RegimeSudden PoliticizationInternational ReactionPart III: Consolidation The Political ChallengeWill Democracy Fail?Legacies and ChoicesNew InstitutionsFederalismSecessionThe First ElectionRights and InterestsRights: Threats and SafeguardsTowards ConsolidationPolitical LifeLocal Politics and Hong KongRefurbishing Economic and Social LifeThe Struggle for InterestsGrowth and DevelopmentSocial WelfareRegional InterestsA Free SocietyDealing With HistoryA Changed International RoleDemocratic PeaceTransitional DiplomacyRelations With the U.S.Relations with AsiaTaiwan, Tibet and XinjiangConclusionReferences

Columbia University Press

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