Traces the role of ideas in Chinese economic reform from 1978 to the present, exploring the conversion of China's policymakers to capitalist economic thinking.
Tracing the role of ideas in Chinese economic reform from 1978 to the present, this book explores the conversion of China's policymakers to capitalist economic thinking. Chen argues that the reform process has created a gap between the legitimacy of the leadership, which remains rooted in Marxist-Leninist ideology, and the practice of reform, which has abandoned such ideological constraints. Through a systematic survey of party documents and resolutions, official publications, leaders' speeches, academic journals, and newspapers, Chen shows how Chinese policymakers reconceptualized the ownership system and adjusted related policies. Focusing on a number of economic policy issue areas such as state economy, rural reform, privatization, and income distribution, he analyzes in depth the implications of this gap for the current Chinese leadership and the future of China's political development.
Feng Chen is Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Upsala College.
"This book discusses an important topic—how economic reforms have undermined the Chinese Communist Party's legitimacy—that many scholars have mentioned in passing but which no one, to my knowledge, has examined as systematically as this author. The contradiction between necessary reform and maintaining the party's legitimacy is one of the most important aspects—possibly the single most important aspect—of contemporary Chinese politics. " — Barrett L. McCormick, Marquette University
"The first serious study on the role of ideology in China's economic reform, it adds something important to the emerging literature on the Chinese reform period. " — Zhiyuan Cui, MIT
"This book is well written and persuasively argued. It makes an important contribution to the field and is likely to be adopted in a number of undergraduate courses on Chinese politics. " — Joseph Fewsmith, Boston University