Autocratic Tradition and Chinese Politics

Publisher : Cambridge University Press

ISBN-13 : 9780521442282

Page : 401 pages

Rating : 4.5/5 from 282 voters

This book examines the Chinese political tradition over the past two thousand years and argues that the enduring and most important feature of this tradition is autocracy. The author interprets the communist takeover of 1949 not as a revolution but as a continuation of the imperial tradition. The book shows how Mao Zedong revitalised this autocratic tradition along five lines: the use of ideology for political control; concentration of power in the hands of a few; state power over all aspects of life; law as a tool wielded by the ruler, who is himself above the law; and the subjection of the individual to the state. Using a statist approach, the book argues that in China political action of the state has been the single most important factor in determining socio-economic change.

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