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FROM REFORM TO REVOLUTION [NOOK Book]

Overview

The demise of communism in the former Soviet Union and the massive political and economic changes in China are the stunning transformations of our century. Two central questions are emerging: Why did different communist systems experience different patterns of transition? Why did partial reforms in the Soviet Union and China turn into revolutions? This unique analytical and empirical study shows that patterns of regime transition in communist states depend on the countries' preexisting social structures and ...
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FROM REFORM TO REVOLUTION

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Overview

The demise of communism in the former Soviet Union and the massive political and economic changes in China are the stunning transformations of our century. Two central questions are emerging: Why did different communist systems experience different patterns of transition? Why did partial reforms in the Soviet Union and China turn into revolutions? This unique analytical and empirical study shows that patterns of regime transition in communist states depend on the countries' preexisting social structures and political and economic institutions. Minxin Pei identifies the rapid mobilization of previously excluded social groups during the reform phase as the most powerful explanation for the revolutionary outcome of initially limited political and economic reforms in the Soviet Union and China. Pei uses comparative data to analyze the different routes of transition to democracy and a market economy in the Soviet Union, China, and, to a lesser extent, other former communist states in Eastern Europe and Asia. The theory is empirically tested in four case studies of changes in China and the Soviet Union - two on the development of the private sector in each country and two on the liberalization of the mass media. The author concludes with provocative statements about regime transition from communism. He rejects the idealistic notion that democratization can, by itself, remove the structural obstacles to economic transformation, and he sees high economic and political costs as unavoidable in transition from communism along either the Soviet or the Chinese path. In comparing Soviet and Chinese transition costs, however, he implicitly endorses the evolutionary changes taking place in China and expresses strong doubt about the revolutionary changes that have occurred in the former Soviet Union.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
An analytical and empirical study which shows that patterns of regime transition in communist states depend on the countries' preexisting social structures and political and economic institutions. Pei (politics, Princeton U.) identifies the rapid mobilization of previously excluded social groups during the reform phase as the most powerful explanation for the revolutionary outcome of initially limited political and economic reforms in the Soviet Union and China. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Philippe C. Schmitter
The first comprehensive effort to compare the recent political experiences of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the People's Republic of China by tracing their overlapping and diverging paths of regime change...Very tightly argued and erudite. -- Philippe C. Schmitter
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674041974
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 6/30/2009
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 264
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Minxin Pei is Tom and Margot Pritzker ’72 Professor of Government and Roberts Fellow, and the director of the Keck Center for International and Strategic Studies at Claremont McKenna College.

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Table of Contents



Contents

Introduction


1.
Regime Transition in Communist States


2.
Explaining the Tocqueville Paradox


3.
China's Capitalist Revolution


4.
The Private Sector under Perestroika


5.
The Self-Liberalization of China's Mass Media


6.
The Liberal Takeover of the Soviet Mass Media under Glasnost


Conclusion


Abbreviations


Notes


Acknowledgments


Index

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