Our analysis has sought to show the clash between the economic and political logic of the reforms and provide an explanation of the paradoxical outcome of the reform era, a combination of economic success and political failure. To the extent that the economic reforms were the spearhead of an attempt to resuscitate the political fortunes of Chinese state socialism, they were a dismal failure. In the context of the early 1990s, the question of political reform clearly needs to be tackled, not only because this is a precondition for deepening the process of economic reform, but also because the present political system has suffered a serious decline in its authority and the national leadership has increasingly lost its power to define policy and control events. To think sensibly about political reform, we not only need to look forward towards possible future scenarios but also look back at the political changes brought about by the era of economic reform which define the political parameters for what is both desirable and possible in the foreseeable future. So let us look back first and then forward.
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- 8.Robert Wade, ‘State intervention in “outward-looking” development: neoclassical theory and Taiwanese practice’, in White (ed.) 1988; see also Hung-mao Tien 1989 and Winckler 1984.Google Scholar