In After the Post–Cold War eminent Chinese cultural critic Dai Jinhua interrogates history, memory, and the future of China as a global economic power in relation to its socialist past, profoundly shaped by the Cold War. Drawing on Marxism, post-structuralism, psychoanalysis, and feminist theory, Dai examines recent Chinese films that erase the country’s socialist history to show how such erasure resignifies socialism’s past as failure and thus forecloses the imagining of a future beyond that of globalized capitalism. She outlines the tension between China’s embrace of the free market and a regime dependent on a socialist imprimatur. She also offers a genealogy of China’s transformation from a source of revolutionary power into a fountainhead of globalized modernity. This narrative, Dai contends, leaves little hope of moving from the capitalist degradation of the present into a radical future that might offer a more socially just world.
Jie Chen and Bruce J. Dickson draw on extensive fieldwork as they explore the extent to which China’s private sector supports democracy, surveying more than 2,000 entrepreneurs in five coastal provinces with over 70 percent of China’s private enterprises.The authors examine who the private entrepreneurs are, how the party-state shapes this group, and what their relationship to the state is. China’s entrepreneurs are closely tied to the state through political and financial relationships, and these ties shape their views toward democracy. While most entrepreneurs favor multi-candidate elections under the current one-party system, they do not support a system characterized by multi-party competition and political liberties, including the right to demonstrate. The key to regime support lies in the capitalists’ political beliefs and their assessment of the government’s policy performance. China’s capitalists tend to be conservative and status-quo oriented, not likely to serve as agents of democratization.This is a valuable contribution not only to the debates over the prospects for democracy in China but also to understanding the process of democratization around the globe.
Since becoming president of China and general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, Xi Jinping has emerged as China's most powerful and popular leader since Deng Xiaoping. The breathtaking economic expansion and military modernization that Xi inherited has convinced him that China can transform into a twenty-first-century superpower.
In this collection, leading scholars from the United States, Asia, and Europe examine both the prospects for China's continuing rise and the emergent and unintended consequences posed by China's internal instability and international assertiveness. Contributors examine domestic challenges surrounding slowed economic growth, Xi's anti-corruption campaign, and government efforts to maintain social stability. Essays on foreign policy range from the impact of nationalist pressures on international relations to China’s heavy-handed actions in the South China Sea that challenge regional stability and US-China cooperation. The result is a comprehensive analysis of current policy trends in Xi's China and the implications of these developments for his nation, the United States, and Asia-Pacific.
“Cuts through the cacophony of information, misinformation, and nonsense on China that circulates in our modern world to give us reliable answers to crucial questions… Should be on the shelf of anyone seeking to understand this fast-rising superpower.” —Ian Johnson, author of The Souls of China
After years of isolation, China is now center stage as an economic and global power, but its rise has triggered wildly divergent views. Is it a model of business efficiency or a threat to American prosperity and security? Thirty-six of the world’s leading China experts from Harvard University’s renowned Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies answer key questions about this new superpower, distilling a lifetime of scholarship into short and accessible essays about Chinese politics, culture, history, economy, approach to the environment, and foreign policy. Their contributions provide essential insight into the challenges China faces, the aspirations of its people and leaders, its business climate, and the consequences of its meteoric ascent. Many books offer information about China, but few make sense of what is truly at stake.
“Impressive… A highly informative, readable collection for scholars and nonscholars alike.” —Publishers Weekly
“Provides a more nuanced and accessible perspective on the issues China is facing.” —South China Morning Post
“Erudite yet accessible… The topical reach is impressive.” —Jeffrey Wasserstrom, author of China in the 21st Century
China’s Challenges and International Order Transition introduces an integrated conceptual framework of “international order” categorized by three levels (power, rules, and norms) and three issue-areas (security, political, and economic). Each contributor engages one or more of these analytical dimensions to examine two questions: (1) Has China already challenged this dimension of international order? (2) How will China challenge this dimension of international order in the future?
The contested views and perspectives in this volume suggest it is too simple to assume an inevitable conflict between China and the outside world. With different strategies to challenge or reform the many dimensions of international order, China’s role is not a one-way street. It is an interactive process in which the world may change China as much as China may change the world.
The aim of the book is to broaden the debate beyond the “Thucydides Trap” perspective currently popular in the West. Rather than offering a single argument, this volume offers a platform for scholars, especially Chinese scholars vs. Western scholars, to exchange and debate their different views and perspectives on China and the potential transition of international order.
When Deng Xiaoping launched China on the path to economic reform in the late 1970s, he vowed to build “socialism with Chinese characteristics.” More than three decades later, China’s efforts to modernize have yielded something very different from the working people’s paradise Deng envisioned: an incipient kleptocracy, characterized by endemic corruption, soaring income inequality, and growing social tensions. China’s Crony Capitalism traces the origins of China’s present-day troubles to the series of incomplete reforms from the post-Tiananmen era that decentralized the control of public property without clarifying its ownership.
Beginning in the 1990s, changes in the control and ownership rights of state-owned assets allowed well-connected government officials and businessmen to amass huge fortunes through the systematic looting of state-owned property—in particular land, natural resources, and assets in state-run enterprises. Mustering compelling evidence from over two hundred corruption cases involving government and law enforcement officials, private businessmen, and organized crime members, Minxin Pei shows how collusion among elites has spawned an illicit market for power inside the party-state, in which bribes and official appointments are surreptitiously but routinely traded. This system of crony capitalism has created a legacy of criminality and entrenched privilege that will make any movement toward democracy difficult and disorderly.
Rejecting conventional platitudes about the resilience of Chinese Communist Party rule, Pei gathers unambiguous evidence that beneath China’s facade of ever-expanding prosperity and power lies a Leninist state in an advanced stage of decay.
Cultural Revolution Culture, often denigrated as nothing but propaganda, was liked not only in its heyday but continues to be enjoyed today. A Continuous Revolution sets out to explain its legacy. By considering Cultural Revolution propaganda art—music, stage works, prints and posters, comics, and literature—from the point of view of its longue durée, Barbara Mittler suggests it was able to build on a tradition of earlier art works, and this allowed for its sedimentation in cultural memory and its proliferation in contemporary China.
Taking the aesthetic experience of the Cultural Revolution (1966–1976) as her base, Mittler juxtaposes close readings and analyses of cultural products from the period with impressions given in a series of personal interviews conducted in the early 2000s with Chinese from diverse class and generational backgrounds. By including much testimony from these original voices, Mittler illustrates the extremely multifaceted and contradictory nature of the Cultural Revolution, both in terms of artistic production and of its cultural experience.
In this pioneering study of democratization in Argentina, Leslie Anderson challenges Robert Putnam’s thesis that democracy requires high levels of social capital. She demonstrates in Democratization by Institutions that formal institutions (e.g., the executive, the legislature, the courts) can serve not only as operational parts within democracy but as the driving force toward democracy.
As Anderson astutely observes, the American founders debated the merits of the institutions they were creating. Examining how, and how well, Argentina’s American-style institutional structure functions, she considers the advantages and risks of the separation of powers, checks and balances, legislative policymaking, and strong presidential power. During the democratic transition, the Argentinian state has used institutions to address immediate policy challenges in ways responsive to citizens and thereby to provide a supportive environment in which social capital can develop.
By highlighting the role that institutions can play in leading a nation out of authoritarianism, even when social capital is low, Anderson begins a new conversation about the possibilities of democratization. Democratization by Institutions has much to say not only to Latin Americanists and scholars of democratization but also to those interested in the U.S. constitutional structure and its application in other parts of the world.
Geopolitical Economy examines the significance and nature of free trade agreements (FTAs), the primary policy tool through which modern nations seek access to international markets and promote economic growth. The book focuses specifically on how South Korea, the world’s leader in the number and significance of FTAs as well as the world’s sixth largest export economy, uses FTAs.
Jonathan Krieckhaus argues that geopolitics—the struggle between powerful nations over specific geographic regions around the globe—influenced FTA strategy and economic policy in South Korea and beyond. This perspective illustrates the security approach to FTAs, but adds that the geographic specificity of security concerns deeply shape FTA policy.
Geopolitical Economy also looks at Korean FTAs through the lens of development strategy. South Korea is singularly successful in garnering FTAs with all three players in the global economy: the United States, the European Union, and China. This unprecedented success was built on a strong commitment from three consecutive Korean presidential administrations, each operating within a favorable state-society context that enjoyed the existence of a centralized and effective trade bureaucracy.
Rapid social economic changes, the transition from a planned economy to a market economy, or even economic liberalization can lead to political instability and the collapse of authoritarian regimes. Despite experiencing all of these unprecedented changes in the past forty years, China under the Chinese Communist Party’s leadership has so far successfully transformed and improved both its governance capacity and its ruling capacity. Governing and Ruling addresses this regime resilience puzzle by examining the political logic of its taxation system, especially the ways in which taxation helps China handle three governance problems: maneuvering social control, improving agent discipline, and eliciting cooperation. Changdong Zhang argues that a taxation system plays an important role in sustaining authoritarian rule, in China and elsewhere, by combining co-optation and repression functions. The book collects valuable firsthand and secondhand data; studies China’s taxation system, intergovernmental fiscal relationships, composition of fiscal revenue sources, and tax administration; and discusses how each dimension influences the three governance problems.
How do poor nations become rich, industrialized, and democratic? And what role does democracy play in this transition? To address these questions, Jongryn Mo and Barry R. Weingast study South Korea's remarkable transformation since 1960. The authors concentrate on three critical turning points: Park Chung Hee's creation of the development state beginning in the early 1960s, democratization in 1987, and the genesis of and reaction to the 1997 economic crisis. At each turning point, Korea took a significant step toward creating an open access social order.
The dynamics of this transition hinge on the inclusion of a wide array of citizens, rather than just a narrow elite, in economic and political activities and organizations. The political economy systems that followed each of the first two turning points lacked balance in the degree of political and economic openness and did not last. The Korean experience, therefore, suggests that a society lacking balance cannot sustain development. Korean Political and Economic Development offers a new view of how Korea was able to maintain a pro-development state with sustained growth by resolving repeated crises in favor of rebalancing and greater political and economic openness.
In Memory Construction and the Politics of Time in Neoliberal South Korea Namhee Lee explores memory construction and history writing in post-1987 South Korea. The massive neoliberal reconstruction of all aspects of society shifted public discourse from minjung (people) to simin (citizen), from political to cultural, from collective to individual. This shift reconstituted people as Homo economicus, rights-bearing and rights-claiming individuals, even in social movements. Lee explains this shift in the context of simultaneous historical developments: South Korea’s transition to democracy, the end of the Cold War, and neoliberal reconstruction understood as synonymous with democratization. By examining memoirs, biographies, novels, and revisionist conservative historical scholarship, Lee shows how the dominant discourse of a “complete break with the past” erases the critical ethos of previous emancipatory movements foundational to South Korean democracy.
Neoliberalism is commonly viewed as an economic doctrine that seeks to limit the scope of government. Some consider it a form of predatory capitalism with adverse effects on the Global South. In this groundbreaking work, Aihwa Ong offers an alternative view of neoliberalism as an extraordinarily malleable technology of governing that is taken up in different ways by different regimes, be they authoritarian, democratic, or communist. Ong shows how East and Southeast Asian states are making exceptions to their usual practices of governing in order to position themselves to compete in the global economy. As she demonstrates, a variety of neoliberal strategies of governing are re-engineering political spaces and populations. Ong’s ethnographic case studies illuminate experiments and developments such as China’s creation of special market zones within its socialist economy; pro-capitalist Islam and women’s rights in Malaysia; Singapore’s repositioning as a hub of scientific expertise; and flexible labor and knowledge regimes that span the Pacific.
Ong traces how these and other neoliberal exceptions to business as usual are reconfiguring relationships between governing and the governed, power and knowledge, and sovereignty and territoriality. She argues that an interactive mode of citizenship is emerging, one that organizes people—and distributes rights and benefits to them—according to their marketable skills rather than according to their membership within nation-states. Those whose knowledge and skills are not assigned significant market value—such as migrant women working as domestic maids in many Asian cities—are denied citizenship. Nevertheless, Ong suggests that as the seam between sovereignty and citizenship is pried apart, a new space is emerging for NGOs to advocate for the human rights of those excluded by neoliberal measures of human worthiness.
Barack Obama’s political ascendancy has focused considerable global attention on the history of Kenya generally and the history of the Luo community particularly. From politicos populating the blogosphere and bookshelves in the U.S and Kenya, to tourists traipsing through Obama’s ancestral home, a variety of groups have mobilized new readings of Kenya’s past in service of their own ends.
Through narratives placing Obama into a simplified, sweeping narrative of anticolonial barbarism and postcolonial “tribal” violence, the story of the United States president’s nuanced relationship to Kenya has been lost amid stereotypical portrayals of Africa. At the same time, Kenyan state officials have aimed to weave Obama into the contested narrative of Kenyan nationhood.
Matthew Carotenuto and Katherine Luongo argue that efforts to cast Obama as a “son of the soil” of the Lake Victoria basin invite insights into the politicized uses of Kenya’s past. Ideal for classroom use and directed at a general readership interested in global affairs, Obama and Kenya offers an important counterpoint to the many popular but inaccurate texts about Kenya’s history and Obama’s place in it as well as focused, thematic analyses of contemporary debates about ethnic politics, “tribal” identities, postcolonial governance, and U.S. African relations.
In 2013, Chinese leader Xi Jinping announced a campaign for national rejuvenation. The One Belt One Road initiative, or OBOR, has become the largest infrastructure program in history. Nearly every Chinese province, city, major business, bank, and university have been mobilized to serve it, spending hundreds of billions of dollars overseas building ports and railroads, laying fiber cables, and launching satellites. Using a trove of Chinese sources, author Eyck Freymann argues these infrastructure projects are a sideshow. OBOR is primarily a campaign to restore an ancient model in which foreign emissaries paid tribute to the Chinese emperor, offering gifts in exchange for political patronage. Xi sees himself as a sort of modern-day emperor, determined to restore China’s past greatness.
Many experts assume that Xi’s nakedly neo-imperial scheme couldn’t possibly work. Freymann shows how wrong they are. China isn’t preying on victims, Freymann argues. It’s attracting willing partners—including Western allies—from Latin America to Southeast Asia to the Persian Gulf. Even in countries where OBOR megaprojects fail, Freymann finds that political leaders still want closer ties with China.
Freymann tells the monumental story of Xi’s project on the global stage. Drawing on primary documents in five languages, interviews with senior officials, and on-the-ground case studies from Malaysia to Greece, Russia to Iran, Freymann pulls back the veil of propaganda about OBOR, giving readers a page-turning world tour of the burgeoning Chinese empire, a guide for understanding China’s motives and tactics, and clear recommendations for how the West can compete.
The Patagonian Sublime provides a vivid, accessible, and cutting-edge investigation of the green economy and New Left politics in Argentina. Based on extensive field research in Glaciers National Park and the mountain village of El Chaltén, Marcos Mendoza deftly examines the diverse social worlds of alpine mountaineers, adventure trekkers, tourism entrepreneurs, seasonal laborers, park rangers, land managers, scientists, and others involved in the green economy.
Mendoza explores the fraught intersection of the green economy with the New Left politics of the Néstor Kirchner and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner governments. Mendoza documents the strategies of capitalist development, national representation, and political rule embedded in the “green productivist” agenda pursued by Kirchner and Fernández. Mendoza shows how Andean Patagonian communities have responded to the challenges of community-based conservation, the fashioning of wilderness zones, and the drive to create place-based monopolies that allow ecotourism destinations to compete in the global consumer economy.
In 2009, to mark the sixtieth anniversary of the People’s Republic of China, the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies convened a major conference to discuss the health and longevity of China’s ruling system and to consider a fundamental question: After three decades of internal strife and turmoil, followed by an era of reform, entrepreneurialism, and internationalization, is the PRC here for the dynastic long haul?
Bringing together scholars and students of China from around the world, the gathering witnessed an energetic exchange of views on four interrelated themes: polities, social transformations, wealth and well-being, and culture, belief, and practice. Edited and expanded from the original conference papers, the wide-ranging essays in this bilingual volume remain true to the conference’s aim: to promote open discussion of the past, present, and future of the People’s Republic of China.
Chinese president Xi Jinping is most famously associated with his “Chinese Dream” campaign, envisioning a great rejuvenation of the nation. Many observers, though, view China’s pursuit of this dream as alarming. They see a global power ready to abandon its low-profile diplomacy and eager to throw its weight around.
Red Chamber, World Dream represents an interdisciplinary effort of deciphering the Chinese Dream and its global impact. Jing Sun employs methods from political science and journalism and concepts from literature, sociology, psychology and drama studies, to offer a multilevel analysis of various actors’ roles in Chinese foreign policy making: the leaders, the bureaucrats, and its increasingly diversified public. This book rejects a simple dichotomy of an omnipotent, authoritarian state versus a suppressed society. Instead, it examines how Chinese foreign policy is constantly being forged and contested by interactions among its leaders, bureaucrats, and people. The competition for shaping China’s foreign policy also happens on multiple arenas: intraparty fighting, inter-ministerial feuding, social media, TV dramas and movies, among others. This book presents vast amounts of historical detail, many unearthed the first time in the English language. Meanwhile, it also examines China’s diplomatic responses to ongoing issues like the Covid-19 crisis. The result is a study multidisciplinary in nature, rich in historical nuance, and timely in contemporary significance.
As a nation makes the transition from communism to democracy or another form of authoritarianism, its regime must construct not only new political institutions, but also a new political ideology that can guide policy and provide a sense of mission. The new ideology is crucial for legitimacy at home and abroad, as well as the regime’s long-term viability. In The Return of Ideology, Cheng Chen compares post-communist regimes, with a focus on Russia under Putin and post-Deng China, investigating the factors that affect the success of an ideology-building project and identifies the implications for international affairs.
Successful ideology-building requires two necessary—but not sufficient—conditions. The regime must establish a coherent ideological repertoire that takes into account the nation’s ideological heritage and fresh surges of nationalism. Also, the regime must attract and maintain a strong commitment to the emerging ideology among the political elite.
Drawing on rich primary sources, including interviews, surveys, political speeches, writings of political leaders, and a variety of publications, Chen identifies the major obstacles to ideology-building in modern Russia and China and assesses their respective long-term prospects. Whereas creating a new regime ideology has been a protracted and difficult process in China, it has been even more so in Russia. The ability to forge an ideology is not merely a domestic concern for these two nations, but a matter of international import as these two great powers move to assert and extend their influence in the world.
With $4.5 trillion in total assets, the People’s Bank of China now surpasses the U.S. Federal Reserve as the world’s biggest central bank. The Rise of the People’s Bank of China investigates how this increasingly authoritative institution grew from a Leninist party-state that once jealously guarded control of banking and macroeconomic policy. Relying on interviews with key players, this book is the first comprehensive and up-to-date account of the evolution of the central banking and monetary policy system in reform China.
Stephen Bell and Hui Feng trace the bank’s ascent to Beijing’s policy circle, and explore the political and institutional dynamics behind its rise. In the early 1990s, the PBC—benefitting from political patronage and perceptions of its unique professional competency—found itself positioned to help steer the Chinese economy toward a more liberal, market-oriented system. Over the following decades, the PBC has assumed a prominent role in policy deliberations and financial reforms, such as fighting inflation, relaxing China’s exchange rate regime, managing reserves, reforming banking, and internationalizing the renminbi. Today, the People’s Bank of China confronts significant challenges in controlling inflation on the back of runaway growth, but it has established a strong track record in setting policy for both domestic reform and integration into the global economy.
Official corruption has become increasingly prevalent around the world since the early 1990s. The situation appears to be particularly acute in the post-communist states. Corruption—be it real or perceived—is a major problem with concrete implications, including a lowered likelihood of foreign investment. In Rotten States? Leslie Holmes analyzes corruption in post-communist countries, paying particular attention to Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, and Russia, as well as China, which Holmes argues has produced, through its recent economic liberalization, a system similar to post-communism. As he points out, these countries offer useful comparisons: they vary in terms of size, religious orientation, ethnic homogeneity, and their approaches to and economic success with the transition from communism.
Drawing on data including surveys commissioned especially for this study, Holmes examines the causes and consequences of official corruption as well as ways of combating it. He focuses particular attention on the timing of the recent increase in reports of corruption, the relationship between post-communism and corruption, and the interplay between corruption and the delegitimation and weakening of the state. Holmes argues that the global turn toward neoliberalism—with its focus on ends over means, flexibility, and a reduced role for the state—has generated much of the corruption in post-communist states. At the same time, he points out that neoliberalism is perhaps the single most powerful tool for overcoming the communist legacy, which is an even more significant cause of corruption. Among the conclusions that Holmes draws is that a strong democratic state is needed in the early stages of the transition from communism in order to prevent corruption from taking hold.