Mao's Invisible Hand: The Political Foundations of Adaptive Governance in China

Mao's Invisible Hand: The Political Foundations of Adaptive Governance in China

by Sebastian Heilmann
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0674060636

ISBN-13: 9780674060630

Pub. Date: 05/01/2011

Publisher: Harvard University Press

Observers have been predicting the demise of China’s political system since Mao Zedong’s death over thirty years ago. The Chinese Communist state, however, seems to have become increasingly adept at responding to challenges ranging from leadership succession and popular unrest to administrative reorganization, legal institutionalization, and global

Overview

Observers have been predicting the demise of China’s political system since Mao Zedong’s death over thirty years ago. The Chinese Communist state, however, seems to have become increasingly adept at responding to challenges ranging from leadership succession and popular unrest to administrative reorganization, legal institutionalization, and global economic integration. What political techniques and procedures have Chinese policymakers employed to manage the unsettling impact of the fastest sustained economic expansion in world history?

As the authors of these essays demonstrate, China’s political system allows for more diverse and flexible input than would be predicted from its formal structures. Many contemporary methods of governance have their roots in techniques of policy generation and implementation dating to the revolution and early PRC—techniques that emphasize continual experimentation. China’s long revolution had given rise to this guerrilla-style decisionmaking as a way of dealing creatively with pervasive uncertainty. Thus, even in a post-revolutionary PRC, the invisible hand of Chairman Mao—tamed, tweaked, and transformed—plays an important role in China’s adaptive governance.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674060630
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Publication date:
05/01/2011
Series:
Harvard Contemporary China Series, #17
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Contributors xi

List of Tables and Figures xii

Abbreviations xiii

1 Embracing Uncertainty: Guerrilla Policy Style and Adaptive Governance in China Sebastian Heilmann Elizabeth J. Perry 1

2 From Mass Campaigns to Managed Campaigns: "Constructing a New Socialist Countryside" Elizabeth J. Perry 30

3 Policy-Making through Experimentation: The Formation of a Distinctive Policy Process Sebastian Heilmann 62

4 Learning through Practice and Experimentation: The Financing of Rural Health Care Wang Shaoguang 102

5 Governing Civil Society: Adapting Revolutionary Methods to Serve Post-Communist Goals Nara Dillon 138

6 A Return to Populist Legality? Historical Legacies and Legal Reform Benjamin L. Liebman 165

7 Sustaining and Contesting Revolutionary Legacies in Media and Ideology Yuezhi Zhao 201

8 Retrofitting the Steel Frame: From Mobilizing the Masses to Surveying the Public Patricia M. Thornton 237

9 The Elusive Search for Effective Sub-County Governance Joseph Fawsmith 269

10 Central-Local Dynamics: Historical Continuities and Institutional Resilience Jae Ho Chung 297

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