China since the Cultural Revolution: From Totalitarianism to Authoritarianism

China since the Cultural Revolution: From Totalitarianism to Authoritarianism

China since the Cultural Revolution: From Totalitarianism to Authoritarianism

China since the Cultural Revolution: From Totalitarianism to Authoritarianism

Synopsis

This book provides an alternative analytical approach to the study of China's political changes since the Cultural Revolution, which treats those changes as a transition from totalitarianism to authoritarianism. While depicting important political-economic events, it focuses on the changes in such major sociopolitical factors as the people's attitude toward the regime, government policy, the ruling methods of the regime, and the interrelationships among them. Based on the analyses of these factors, the book also predicts the future of the current Communist regime in terms of the challenges it will face and its ability to meet them.

Excerpt

Since late 1976, when the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution ended, the People's Republic of China has undergone a series of profound political changes, which had reached a turning point during the Democracy movement of 1989. These changes have challenged Western scholars to update and refine their knowledge and understanding of contemporary Chinese politics. Confronted by these challenges, however, students of Chinese politics in the West have not yet developed a theoretically complete and in-depth explanation of these ongoing changes, except for some narrative observations on the Democracy movement of 1989. Moreover, it seems even more academically frustrating that previous theoretical approaches to the study of Chinese politics, despite their sophistication, fail to provide a conceptual framework in which the nature and pattern of sociopolitical changes occurring since the Cultural Revolution can be systematically analyzed and the future of the Chinese polity can be predicted.

This book, therefore, explores a new approach to contemporary Chinese politics. Specifically, this approach will treat sociopolitical changes in China since the Cultural Revolution as representing a transition from a totalitarian regime to an authoritarian regime. the underlying notion is that changes in sociopolitical conditions cause a change in public attitudes toward the regime; consequently, a fundamental change in the public attitudes will eventually cause a change in the nature of the regime itself. Based on this framework, the basic dynamics and pattern of political changes in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution will be explored.

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