Marketing Dictatorship: Propaganda and Thought Work in Contemporary China

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Overview

Click here to hear Anne-Marie Brady's BBC World Service radio documentary titled "The Message from China" China's government is no longer a Stalinist-Maoist dictatorship, yet it does not seem to be moving significantly closer to democracy as it is understood in Western terms. After a period of self-imposed exclusion, Chinese society is in the process of a massive transformation in the name of economic progress and integration into the world economy. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is seeking to maintain its rule over China indefinitely, creating yet another "new" China. Propaganda and thought work play a key role in this strategy. In this important book, noted China scholar Anne-Marie Brady answers some intriguing questions about China's contemporary propaganda system. Why have propaganda and thought work strengthened their hold in China in recent years? How has the CCP government strengthened its power since 1989 when so many analysts predicted otherwise? How does the CCP maintain its monopoly on political power while dismantling the socialist system? How can the government maintain popular support in China when the uniting force of Marxist-Leninist-Maoist ideology is spent and discredited? What has taken the place of communist ideology? Examining propaganda and thought work in the current period offers readers a unique understanding of how the CCP will address real and perceived threats to stability and its continued hold on power. This innovative book is a must-read for everyone interested in China's growing role in the world community.

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Editorial Reviews

Wall Street Journal Asia
Anne-Marie Brady is an authority on Beijing's efforts to attract favorable attention to itself. . . . The central thesis of her path-breaking book is ultimately convincing.
New Republic
Propaganda is one of the most important domains in the Chinese party-state. . . . As Anne-Marie Brady demonstrates in a superb study of this central and hidden part of the Chinese system, the surface diversity of the Chinese media hides the guiding hand of a high-level Party office in Beijing called the Central Propaganda Department, which works its will across the whole spectrum of activities in media, education, entertainment—and also in sports. . . . The Beijing Olympics have never been anything but a conscious part of this strategy—what Brady calls a campaign of mass distraction.
China Economic Quarterly
A hugely interesting and important book. In a concise 230 pages it explains how since 1989 the Chinese Communist Party has renewed, extended and strengthened its propaganda apparatus.
Choice
This is a fine study of Chinese domestic and foreign propaganda. . . . The book is well organized. . . . Her research is extensive and up-to-date. The volume should be part of any collection with a focus on mass communications, China studies, or even political science in general. . . . Recommended.
— July 2008 Vol. 45 No. 11
The New Yorker
Anne-Marie Brady . . . has produced an authoritative book on [China's] Central Propaganda Department.
— Evan 'snos
New Republic - July 9
Propaganda is one of the most important domains in the Chinese party-state. . . . As Anne-Marie Brady demonstrates in a superb study of this central and hidden part of the Chinese system, the surface diversity of the Chinese media hides the guiding hand of a high-level Party office in Beijing called the Central Propaganda Department, which works its will across the whole spectrum of activities in media, education, entertainment—and also in sports. . . . The Beijing Olympics have never been anything but a conscious part of this strategy—what Brady calls a campaign of mass distraction.
China Economic Quarterly - July 2008
A hugely interesting and important book. In a concise 230 pages it explains how since 1989 the Chinese Communist Party has renewed, extended and strengthened its propaganda apparatus.
CHOICE - July 2008 Vol. 45 No. 11
This is a fine study of Chinese domestic and foreign propaganda. . . . The book is well organized. . . . Her research is extensive and up-to-date. The volume should be part of any collection with a focus on mass communications, China studies, or even political science in general. . . . Recommended.
China Quarterly - David Shambaugh
The best and most current study on [the Chinese propaganda system], and is a welcome addition to our understanding of the evolving party-state in China. . . . A much-needed assessment of the often 'invisible hand' guiding what Chinese citizens are permitted to know and how they know it.
Jonathan Unger
This fascinating book reveals how China's propaganda machine has reinvented itself and today employs a range of sophisticated PR techniques to mold Chinese public opinion. Read this to understand how the Communist Party has strengthened its hold in China.
The China Journal - Ashley Esarey
In a year of unprecedented media coverage of China, Anne-Marie Brady has written a timely book about the Chinese media. She has done much to demystify an understudied topic. . . . The book's most important contribution is to shed light on the institutions, laws and practices which trammel Chinese media. . . . Brady's work deserves much admiration. . . . Marketing Dictatorship is a useful source of information for students of Chinese politics, and an invaluable resource for scholars of the Chinese media.
The New Yorker - Evan 'snos
Anne-Marie Brady . . . has produced an authoritative book on [China's] Central Propaganda Department.
The New Yorker - Evan Osnos
Anne-Marie Brady . . . has produced an authoritative book on [China's] Central Propaganda Department.
CHOICE
This is a fine study of Chinese domestic and foreign propaganda. . . . The book is well organized. . . . Her research is extensive and up-to-date. The volume should be part of any collection with a focus on mass communications, China studies, or even political science in general. . . . Recommended.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742540583
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/28/2009
  • Series: Asia/Pacific/Perspectives Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 246
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Anne-Marie Brady is associate professor in the School of Social and Political Science at the University of Canterbury. She is the presenter for the BBC documentary "The Message from China."

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Table of Contents

Introduction
Chapter 1: Guiding Hand: The Role of the Propaganda System
Chapter 2: From Thought Reform to Economic Reform: Comparing Propaganda and Thought Work in Different Eras
Chapter 3: China's Unseen Engineers: Reform and Modernization in the Propaganda System
Chapter 4: Regimenting the Public Mind: The Methods of Control in the Propaganda System
Chapter 5: Sex Crime, Wheels of Law, and Song Zuying: Managing Information Communication Technology in China
Chapter 6: Combating Hostile Forces: China's Foreign Propaganda Work since 1989
Chapter 7: Models and Anti-Models: Searching for a New, New China
Chapter 8: The Rebirth of the Propaganda State
Glossary

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