Academic journal article International Journal
The Nature of Chinese Politics: From Mao to Jiang
Edited by Jonathan Unger
Armonk NY: M.E. Sharpe, 2002, xiv, 333pp, US$69.96 cloth (ISBN 0-7656-0847), US$25.95 paper (ISBN-0-7656-0848-0)
Given China's opaque and highly personalized political system, is it possible to construct a model that illuminates the underpinnings of Chinese political behaviour? And would such a model apply equally to the eras of Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, and Jiang Zemin?
These are the questions explored in this collection of 13 essays by ten China specialists. Their starting point is the faction model first presented by Andrew J. Nathan in 1973, which departed from the then dominant approach of focusing on ideological 'line struggles' in the Communist party. Nathan's factions were of a specific sort - patronclient networks woven into what he called the 'trellis' of formal political institutions. In Nathan's view, even Mao was a faction leader. Nathan further argued that competition among factions was moderated by a 'code of civility' that broke down only during the Cultural Revolution, when Mao sought to destroy his competitors. …