The Transformation of Chinese Socialism

The Transformation of Chinese Socialism

4.0 1
by Chun Lin
     
 

ISBN-10: 0822337983

ISBN-13: 9780822337980

Pub. Date: 05/18/2006

Publisher: Duke University Press Books

In this significant contribution to both political theory and China studies, Lin Chun provides a critical assessment of the scope and limits of socialist experiments in China, analyzing their development since the victory of the Chinese communist revolution in 1949 and reflecting on the country’s likely paths into the future. Lin suggests that China’s

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Overview

In this significant contribution to both political theory and China studies, Lin Chun provides a critical assessment of the scope and limits of socialist experiments in China, analyzing their development since the victory of the Chinese communist revolution in 1949 and reflecting on the country’s likely paths into the future. Lin suggests that China’s twentieth-century trajectory be grasped in terms of the collective search by its people for a modern alternative to colonial modernity, bureaucratic socialism, and capitalist subordination. Evaluating contending interpretations of the formation and transformation of Chinese socialism in the contemporary conditions of global capitalism, Lin argues that the post-Mao reform model must be remade.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780822337980
Publisher:
Duke University Press Books
Publication date:
05/18/2006
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
384
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Introduction: The Making and Remaking of the Chinese Model 1

1. China and Alternative Modernity 17

2. Chinese Socialism 60

3. People’s Democracy 132

4. Liberty and Liberation 205

Conclusion: Rethinking the Chinese Model 251

Notes 289

References 323

Index 359

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Transformation of Chinese Socialism 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
willyvan More than 1 year ago
Lin Chun teaches comparative politics at the London School of Economics and Political Science. In this wide-ranging and intelligent book, she examines China’s past and present and its future prospects. Chapter 1 places China’s revolution in its context of imperialism and capitalism, using the concepts of nationalism, socialism and developmentalism. Chapter 2 studies China’s political economy, Chapter 3 the idea and practice of ‘people’s democracy’, and Chapter 4 the reform model. Right from 1949, the new government worked to end centuries of discrimination against women. As she writes, “Through legal and policy instruments the communists effectively banned foot binding, child-bride marriages, and forced widowhood chastity. Mercenary and arranged marriages without the consent of the individuals concerned were outlawed, so was the trafficking of women and wife beating.” Amartya Sen praised ‘China’s excellent achievements’ in raising the quality of life for women in education, health care, employment and other aspects of gender equality, which also decisively lowered China’s fertility rate. The government also worked to end discrimination against China’s minority peoples. As she notes, “generally speaking, social gains for China’s minorities since 1949 in education, poverty alleviation, population growth, and public welfare were real.” And, “Since the 1951 ‘peaceful settlement’ negotiated between the Tibetan elites and Beijing, life expectancy had increased from thirty-six years to sixty-seven years in 2003, and infant mortality and absolute poverty steadily declined.” She cites Aiguo Lu and Manuel Montes who wrote, “Measured by social indicators such as life expectancy, infant mortality and educational attainment, China forged way ahead of most market economies at similar income levels and surpassed a number of countries with per capita incomes many times greater.” By the late 1970s, the health service covered, according to the World Bank, “nearly the entire urban and 85% of the rural population, an unrivalled achievement among low-income countries.” Between 1949 and 1980, life expectancy at birth nearly doubled, from 36 to 67, the biggest improvement in the world. By 2003, it was 71.8 years for men and 73 for women, compared to 64 years in India in 2002. As Maurice Meisner concluded, “few events in world history have done more to better the lives of more people.” The Chinese people achieved all this by their own efforts, which included, crucially, building a people’s state. As Lin Chun writes, “an effective public-serving state power is, everywhere, a key to development.” She points out that the CCP from its beginning fought for social progress and national independence: “Fighting on two fronts to remove both a native ancien régime and foreign domination, communism in China was firmly a modern and democratic force.” The party practised mass line democracy. She quotes political scientist Bernard Crick: “as long as the power enjoys a popular basis, the communists “do not pretend to be democratic” – “they are democratic” as a matter of factual judgment when the party was voluntarily followed by the majority of the people.” She argues that capitalism is less democratic, and socialism is more democratic, than the myths would allow. She rejects the totalitarian model as adequate to explain China’s reality. She writes, “the political organization necessary for a participatory citizenry can take forms other tha