China’s food-safety governance system

Food safety is a very high-level concern for ordinary consumers. This is true because the food we eat can poison us or ruin our health, and yet consumers have little ability to evaluate the safety of the foods available in the marketplace. Therefore government regulation of food safety appears to be mandatory in any complex …

New perspectives on Chinese authoritarianism

The question of China's political future is an important one and a difficult one. Will China evolve towards a political system that embodies real legal protections for the rights of its citizens and some version of democratic institutions of government? Or will it remain an authoritarian single-party state in which government and the party decide …

China today

There are a lot of opinions about China today in the United States -- authoritarian, farsighted, effective at economic progress, overly committed to Party authority, challenged by the environmental effects of rapid economic growth, burdened by a corrupt and aging party elite. Some believe China is on the path to becoming a dominant super power, …

A localist approach to Chinese politics

How do the domestic politics of China work, from 1949 to the present? This question covers many issues: Why does the Chinese state act as it does? Why does it choose the policies it has pursued over time? How does the Chinese Communist Party work? What are the mechanisms of policy formulation and adoption in …

Chinese modernization c. 1930

At the end of the nineteenth century -- which was also of the end of the Qing Dynasty -- China was not "modern". Its political institutions had crumbled, it had not substantially incorporated new technologies and forms of economic organization, and its military was still equipped with mid-century weapons and tactics. And, of course, the …

China’s developmental resettlements

The human costs of China's Three Gorges dam project are reasonably well known. Since construction began in 1994 between 1.3 million and two million people have been involuntarily resettled to higher ground and to other provinces. The project has created massive environmental hazards for China (link), and has also created a gigantic human cost among …

The Cultural Revolution through photography

image: Li Zhensheng, self portrait   Several earlier posts have highlighted how challenging it is to come to firm conclusions about some of the most basic facts about the history of the Cultural Revolution in China (link, link, link, link). The history of this important recent period of Chinese history is still a work in …

Granular perspectives on the Cultural Revolution

It has been observed in earlier posts that there is still a lot we do not understand about China's Cultural Revolution (post, post, post). Why such a sudden and apparently crazed eruption of violence? Why such ultra-radicalism among extremely young adolescents? Why the apparent self-destruction of the Party? How to explain the behavior of Mao …

A sense of injustice in China?

  Quite a few years ago Barrington Moore explored in his book Injustice the idea that a sense of justice sometimes plays an important role in history. Here is how he put his central question: This is a book about why people so often put up with being the victims of their societies and why …

Skocpol on the Chinese Revolution

(Sources: States and Social Revolutions, pp. 155, 282) In States and Social Revolutions: A Comparative Analysis of France, Russia and China (1979) Theda Skocpol set out to discover a causal analysis of the occurrence of social revolution, and she offered case-study narratives of the major revolutions in France, Russia, and China. She provides a 54-page narrative …

%d bloggers like this: