This book attempts to answer two questions: how do we define traditional Chinese political authority and how has this been adapted to modern China’s political economy? These questions have been asked by China specialists many times before, and they have grown in significance as the economic successes of China’s post-Mao development strategy have repeated the earlier economic successes of its East Asian neighbours. But China’s land mass, huge population and ideological framework seem to confound any comparisons with other countries in the region. Similarly, China has not fallen in line with the post-totalitarian patterns that have swept across Eastern Europe since the collapse of the Soviet state. The single party and its top leadership have continued to be the central decision-making structure in China. That China remains on the periphery of democratic trends embraced by East Europeans and East Asians provokes the need to reevaluate the unique qualities of its authoritarian politics. This book attempts to explain how past systems of Chinese authority have been adapted to China’s political institutions this century, and how they have continued to influence policy in the post-Mao years.
KeywordsChinese Communist Party Political Authority Chinese State Chinese Authority Marxist Ideology
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