Academic journal article Geography

China and Globalization

Academic journal article Geography

China and Globalization

Article excerpt

China and Globalization Doug Guthrie Abingdon: Routledge, 2006 398pp, 13x19.5cm Pb: £13.99, ISBN 978-0-415-94991-0

This text is an important addition to Routledge's Globalizing Regions series as it deals with that singularly important contributor to accelerated globalisation in the late twentieth century. It sets out to describe and account for 'the social, economic and political transformation of Chinese society' (its subtitle) during the reform period, and how this nation has responded to increasing international interdependence. This is an ambitious brief in little over 300 pages but overall the author has been very successful. It provides the non-sinologist with a rigorous introduction to the dramatic transformation of the Chinese economy, the evolution of its political and legal institutions, and their social consequences, over the past 25 years or so. Guthrie describes the nation's often confusing economic structure, particularly the concepts of 'public' and 'private' in a Chinese context. While the emphasis is necessarily on events, these are often theoretically informed and benefit from the author's reading of these events. He attributes China's great economic success ultimately to the continuing controlling influence of the state, which, despite increasingly decentralised decision making, has systematically guided the transition from a centrally planned to a market economy through a series of measures since the early 1980s. …

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