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Cover Art
Author Ding, Xueliang, 1952-

Title The decline of communism in China : legitimacy crisis, 1977-1989 / X.L. Ding.

Published Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1994.


Location Call No. Status
 UniM Bail  355.4345 DING    MISSING
Physical description xii, 230 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Notes Originally presented as the author's thesis (doctoral).
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 214-226) and index.
Contents 1. Theoretical and comparative issues. Elite: definitional clarification. Legitimation crisis and political destabilization. Institutional parasitism: a challenge to the civil society versus the state scheme -- 2. The counterelite and its institutional basis. The line of demarcation between the counterelite and the ruling elite. Four categories of the counterelite. Institutional resources of the radical marginal intellectuals. Institutional resources of the independent-minded official intellectuals. Institutional resources of the critical cultural intellectuals and the politically active technical intellectuals. The social context of the emergence of the counterelite in post-Mao China -- 3. The movement to "emancipate the mind" and the counterelite's response. Background: obstacles to Deng's advance and to his four objectives. The appeal to rationalism. The consequences -- 4. "Building socialist spiritual civilization" and the counterelite's response.
Background: increasing knowledge of the outside. The appeal to socialist morality. Tension between "material" and "spiritual civilization" -- 5. Two contending patriotic campaigns. Background: the failure of the regime's earlier legitimation device. The official appeal to patriotism. The counterelite's patriotic campaign -- 6. Admission of the "primary stage of socialism" and the counterelite's two developmental models. Background: the political implications of the Dengist economic reforms. Admission of the "primary stage of socialism" The consequences. Other groups and the politics of legitimation. Institutional parasitism: the explanation of the contemporary transition and beyond -- Appendix: Notes on methods and methodology.
Summary This book begins by asking, How could it be that under the Deng regime, when the People's Republic of China experienced its greatest economic prosperity, the largest and most tragically concluded popular protest took place? To answer this question the author examines, from the viewpoint of a participant, the relations between the Communist political elite and the largely anti-Communist intellectual elite during the decade of reform (1977-89). He shows how the Deng Xiaoping regime precipitated a legitimacy crisis by encouraging economic reform while preventing political reform: By departing from the economic guidelines of Maoism, the leadership undermined the basis of its own authority. Justifying this policy in the eyes of both the ruling political elite and the increasingly powerful intellectual elite proved increasingly difficult. In addition to demonstrating the role intellectuals played in shaking Communist-party rule, the book offers a theoretical model to explain how they were able to do so. The author's concept of "institutional parasitism" depicts how, rather than developing separate institutions, resistance to the ruling political elite occupied state structures from which oppositional activity was carried out. In challenging the state versus civil society model, this book makes an important contribution to understanding changing state-society relations in late communism, and the dynamics of the transition from communism. It will be of interest to both scholars of China and students of comparative communism.
Subject Communism -- China.
China -- Politics and government -- 1976-
China -- Intellectual life -- 20th century.
ISBN 0521451388 (hardback)