China's Democratic Future by Bruce Gilley
How It Will Happen and Where It Will Lead

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Synopsis

The end of communist rule in China will be one of the most momentous events of the twenty-first century, sounding the death knell for the Marxist-Leninist experiment and changing the lives of a fifth of humanity. This book provides a likely blow-by-blow account of how the Chinese Communist Party will be removed from power and how a new democracy will be born.

In more than half a century of rule, the Chinese Communist Party has turned a poor and benighted China into a moderately well-off and increasingly influential nation. Yet the Party has failed to keep pace with change since stepping aside from daily life in the late-1970s. After nearly a hundred years of frustrating attempts to create a workable political system following the overthrow of the last dynasty, the prospects for democracy in China are better than ever, according to Bruce Gilley.

Gilley predicts an elite-led transformation rather than a popular-led overthrow. He profiles the key actors and looks at the response of excluded elites, such as the military, as well as interested parties such as Taiwan and Tibet. He explains how democracy in China will be very "Chinese," even as it will also embody fundamental universal liberal features. He deals with competing interests -- regional, sectoral, and class -- of China's economy and society under democracy, addressing the pressing concerns of world business. Finally he considers the implications for Asia as well as for the United States.

 

About Bruce Gilley

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Bruce Gilley is an assistant professor of political science at Portland State University. He serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Democracy and is the author of "Tiger on the Brink: Jiang Zemin," "China's New Elite, Model Rebels: The Rise and Fall of China's Richest Village," and, with Andrew J. Nathan, "China's New Rulers: The Secret Files." He lived in China and Hong Kong for more than a decade, working as a journalist for the "Far Eastern Economic Review Magazine.
 
Published May 6, 2004 by Columbia University Press. 320 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference, Travel, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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Such faith in a moral elite is a prominent shared theme in both Eastern and Western political philosophies, but recent trends in Chinese political culture point toward deepening corruption and cynicism rather than such a moral revival.

| Read Full Review of China's Democratic Future: Ho...

The New York Review of Books

Pye, Foreign Affairs Published on the eve of the emergence of a new generation of leadership in China, this volume could not be more timely for China watchers.— Choice It gives an acute account of the men who will oversee [China’s] immediate political future—revealing some intriguing personal...

Oct 01 2003 | Read Full Review of China's Democratic Future: Ho...

The New York Review of Books

Nicholas Kristof is right to say that living standards have risen in China since economic reforms began in the late 1970s [“A Little Leap Forward,” NYR, June 24, reviewing China’s Democratic Future].

Sep 23 2004 | Read Full Review of China's Democratic Future: Ho...

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