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Few countries have had more turbulent politics in the twentieth century than China. Although China's unprecedented stability and prosperity in the 1980s gave hope that such turbulence was at an end, the crises of Tiananmen, culminating in the massacre of June 4, 1989, proved that the turbulence continues. Here, eight distinguished China specialists provide broad-gauged, original essays that attempt to explain the dynamics of contemporary Chinese politics by analyzing the preceding patterns of development. Some of the essays focus on the most basic issues of the historical development of Chinese politics while other essays focus on developments in important policy areas since 1949. The book concludes with a penetrating analysis of the Tiananmen events by Tang Tsou, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Chicago. Together, the essays detail the weight of the past on Chinese politics, but also the long-term developments that prevent the simple recurrence of previous patterns.
Introduction; Part I. Contemporary China and its Prerevolutionary Heritage Brantly Womack: 1. The dengist reforms in historical perspective Joseph Fewsmith; 2. China's search for democracy: public authority and popular power in China Brantly Womack; 3. A bourgeois alternative? The Shanghai arguments for a Chinese capitalism: the 20s and the 80s; Part II. Policy Dynamics Within The People's Republic of China Edmond Lee: 4. The contradictions of grassroots participation and undemocratic statism in Maoist China and their fate Marc Blecher; 5. The Chinese industrial state in historical perspective: from totalitarianism to corporatism Peter Nan-Shong Lee; 6. From revolutional cadres to bureaucratic technocrats; Part III. China's Evolving World Role Hong Yung Lee: 7. China's search for national identity Lowell Dittmer Tiananmen; 8. The Tiananmen tragedy: the state-society relationship, choices, and mechanism in historical perspective Tang Tsou.