Red Capitalists in China: The Party, Private Entrepreneurs, and Prospects for Political Change

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Viewing the evolving relationship between the Chinese Communist Party and private entrepreneurs, this book examines the implications of recruiting entrepreneurs into the communist party. It has given rise to the label of "red capitalists." Although many foreign observers expect economic change to lead inevitably to political change in China, this book reveals that China's entrepreneurs are willing partners with the state; not an autonomous force in opposition to the state.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Dickson presents a welcome addition to emerging studies of the relationship between the Party-state and the economy in post-Mao China.... Highly recommended." Choice

"Bruce Dickson is well known in Chinese area studies circles for his work over the last ten years on democratisation and the concept of civil society." Review of Political Economy, Jamie Morgan, The Open University in the North West, UK

"Short and concise, Dickson's monograph undoubtedly will inspire others to pursue issues raised by his arguments." China Review International, Lawrence C. Reardon, University of New Hampshire

Foreign Affairs
In seeking enlightenment about where China may be heading with its peculiar combination of a Leninist political system and a market economy, Dickson examines in some detail the attitudes and behaviors of the rapidly emerging class of Chinese private entrepreneurs. Even before Jiang Zemin's 2001 declaration that private entrepreneurs should be allowed to join the party, businessmen already sought the advantages of membership. Based on responses to carefully designed questionnaires, Dickson finds that in response to the party's demonstration of remarkable adaptability, business leaders easily took on the role of "red capitalists." The result is a form of corporatist bonding between the state and civil society, which Dickson believes will give China a high degree of political stability. He throws a bit of cold water, however, on the hopes of those who expect such a business-based civil society to bring democracy to China in the near future. What he does foresee is a steady improvement in the lives of a growing middle class. But if democracy is to come, there will have to be a crisis that splits the party elite.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521818179
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 1/20/2003
  • Series: Cambridge Modern China Series
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Table of Contents

1. Introduction; 2. Challenges of party building in the reform era; 3. New institutional links; Appendix: survey design and implementation; 4. The politics of cooptation; 5. The political beliefs and behaviors of China's red capitalists; Appendix: multivariate analyses of political beliefs of officials and entrepreneurs; 6. Conclusion.

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