Just One Child: Science and Policy in Deng's China / Edition 1

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Overview

China's One-Child Rule is unassailably one of the most controversial social policies of all time. In the first book of its kind, Susan Greenhalgh draws on twenty years of research into China's population politics to explain how the leaders of a nation of one billion decided to limit all couples to one child. Focusing on the historic period 1978-80, when China was reentering the global capitalist system after decades of self-imposed isolation, Greenhalgh documents the extraordinary manner in which a handful of leading aerospace engineers hijacked the population policymaking process and formulated a strategy that treated people like missiles. Just One Child situates these science- and policy making practices in their broader contexts-the scientization and statisticalization of sociopolitical life-and provides the most detailed and incisive account yet of the origins of the one-child policy. In examining the larger issues relating to the interconnections between science and politics, this groundbreaking study develops a new, epistemic approach to the study of public policy and shows how, in China, scientific policymaking led directly to social suffering on a vast scale while giving birth to a technoscientific state.

About the Author:
Susan Greenhalgh is Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Irvine

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Compelling. . . . Masterfully crafted. . . . Just One Child is a bold, brilliant book."—Historical Stds
In the Natural Sciences

"Greenhalgh is our most surefooted guide to China's adventure in mass birth planning . . . . As a study of scientific policy-making in China, Just One Child is without peer."—Science (Aaas)

"The first step in questioning the one-child policy will be an open and truthful exploration of its origins and history. This book is an admirable leap towards that goal."—Times Literary Supplement (Tls)

"Fascinating."—The Lancet

"Highly engaging."—Chinese Cross Currents

Historical Stds In The Natural Sciences - Ruth Rogaski

“Compelling. . . . Masterfully crafted. . . . Just One Child is a bold, brilliant book.”
Science (AAAS)

“Greenhalgh is our most surefooted guide to China’s adventure in mass birth planning . . . . As a study of scientific policy-making in China, Just One Child is without peer.”
Times Literary Supplement (TLS)

“The first step in questioning the one-child policy will be an open and truthful exploration of its origins and history. This book is an admirable leap towards that goal.”
The Lancet

“Fascinating.”
Chinese Cross Currents - Siumi Maria Tam

“Highly engaging.”
Signs

“Greenhalgh finds the missing pieces of the puzzle.”
Nature

“Penetrating analysis.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520253391
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 2/13/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 426
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author


Susan Greenhalgh is Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Irvine. She is the coauthor of Governing China's Population: From Leninist to Neoliberal Biopolitics and the author of Under the Medical Gaze: Facts and Fictions of Chronic Pain (UC Press).
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations     ix
Preface     xi
Acknowledgments     xix
Introduction: An Anthropology of Science Making and Policymaking     1
History: The "Ideology" Before the "Science"     45
Making Population Science
A Chinese Marxian Statistics of Population     81
A Sinified Cybernetics of Population     125
A Chinese Marxian Humanism of Population     169
Making Population Policy
The Scientific Revolution in Chengdu     193
Ally Recruitment in Beijing     232
Scientific Policymaking in Zhongnanhai     271
Conclusion: Why an Epistemic Approach Matters     307
Notes     345
List of Interviews     361
References     371
Index     395
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