The Political Economy of Rural Development in China, 1978-1999

By Weixing Chen | Go to book overview
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require ideological solutions. However, ideological solutions may not be available, partly because the ideological excesses from 1958 to 1978 created an aversion among the peasantry to ideological solutions.

Power is not shared through institutional arrangement in China, and power wielding is largely subject to individual Party and government officials' consciences. They are not exempt from materialistic appeals in an environment of "money worship." Guanxi politics, based on interpersonal relations and connections and unconstrained by institutional checks, is enabling power holders to pursue personal gain at the expense of the state and peasantry and to evade responsibility under the current framework of "socialism with competitive capitalism." How did the CCP respond to the peasant challenge? Two responses to the peasant challenge by the CCP are discussed in the next two chapters: village elections in chapter 6 and the establishment of Deng Xiaoping Theory in chapter 7.

Renmin Ribao, overseas edition ( December 27, 1994), p. 1.
Renmin Ribao, overseas edition ( October 31, 1994), p. 1.
Renmin Ribao, overseas edition ( October 19, 1998), p. 1.
Brantly Womack, The Party and the People: Revolutionary and Postrevolutionary Politics in China and Vietnam, World Politics, vol. 39, no. 4 ( July 1987), p. 480.
"Do Not Forget the Fish-Water Relationship", special commentator, Renmin Ribao ( August 19, 1978), p. 1.
Li Rui, Lushan Huiyi Shilu ( Wuhan: Chunqiu and Hunan jiaoyu chubanshe, 1988), p. 363.
Mark Selden, The Political Economy of Chinese Development (Armonk, N.Y.: M.E. Sharpe, 1993), p. 190.
James C. Scott Weapons of the Weak is a pioneering study of the ways peasants assert themselves through illegitimate means. Scott's study is based on Southeast Asian rural society. See James C. Scott, Weapons of the Weak: Everyday Forms of Peasant Resistance ( New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1985).
Daniel Kelliher, Peasant Power in China ( New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1992), pp. 239-42.
For discussions of peasants under the people's commune, see Sulamith H. Potter and Jack M. Potter, Chinese Peasant: The Anthropology of Revolution ( Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990); and Selden, Political Economy of Chinese Development.
"A Survey of China", The Economist ( March 18, 1995), p. 19.
Kelliher, Peasant Power in China, p. 31.
Carlos Wing-Hung Lo and Sai-Wing Leung, "Environmental Protection and Popular Environmental Consciousness in China", in Joseph Y. S. Cheng, ed., China Review 1998 ( Hong Kong: Chinese University Press, 1998), p. 511.


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