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Chinese Communist Politics in Action (1972)
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Communist China today is not only one of the most important examples of totalitarian rule but also one of the most significant experiments in modem zation. For decades it has been undergoing processes of political development which, while unique in some respects, also share many of the characteristics and problems of modernizing nations elsewhere.
These pioneering studies, representative of the best research now being done on China by a generation of new scholars, focus on particular aspects of the Chinese Communist political system and the course of its development. By analyzing the characteristics of the system at the subnational level, as it affects local areas and particular groups, they attempt to provide new insights into the nature of the system as a whole. At the same time they move toward more effectively integrating China studies into the mainstream of political science. Among the topics examined are: problems of rural control, the nature of local leadership and bureaucratic elite, campaigns to purge the bourgeoisie, youth activities, provisions and effects of social welfare programs, and the attitudes of Chinese citizens toward authority, especially government.
These analyses are based on papers commissioned by the Joint Committee on Contemporary China of the American Council of Learned Societies and the Social Science Research Council for a conference on the Microsocietal Study of the Chinese Political System. Their conclusions are inevitably controversial, - but they raise important questions, demonstrate imaginative approaches to studying Chinese politics, put forth provocative hypotheses, and suggest new ideas for research in the future. Scholars and laymen alike will find them valuable for an understanding of contemporary China. The authors include Richard H. Solomon, Mark Selden, Roy Hofheinz, Jr., Ilpyong J. Kim, Ying-mao Kau, John Gardner, R. J. Birrell, James Townsend, Thomas P. Bernstein, Joyce Kallgren, and Michel Oksenberg.
A. Doak Barnett, professor of government and member of the Contemporary China Studies Committee of the East Asian Institute at Columbia University, has done extensive field research in China. He has worked for the American Universities Field Staff, the Chicago Daily News, the Department of State, and the Council on Foreign Relations. Among his numerous books and articles are Cadres, Bu bureaucracy, and Political Power in Communist China and Communist China, The Early Years: 1949-1955.