Book Review: Will China Democratize?

bookChina_0In the shadow of the 25 year anniversary of the Tiananmen square crackdown, the recent Hong Kong protests have generated interest in how China will respond. Could China ever adopt a democratic government?

Andrew J. Nathan, Larry Diamond, and Marc F. Plattner. Will China Democratize? Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013. 311pp. $29.96.

You can read the recent review by Peter F. Eder of the World Future Society in the March 2014 edition of World Future Review:

Juntao Wang, describing what he calls a “gray transformation,” agrees with several other optimistic authors, including Harry Harding and Cheng Li, that democracy will [most likely?] evolve non-violently. Competition among divergent social interests and political factions will produce incremental progress toward strengthening civil society, place checks and balances among governmental agencies, and expand accountability as the standard of legitimacy. These authors all believe that changes that have already taken place are moving China toward a significant transition away from being a totalitarian state.

WFR_72ppiRGB_powerpointOther essayists are less optimistic. Andrew Nathan calls China’s system “resilient authoritarianism.” This view emphasizes the ruling party’s ability to carry out an orderly leadership succession, the increasingly meritocratic nature of political advancement within the CCP, and the creation of institutional safety valves for venting social discontent. A network of bureaucrats and entrepreneurs creates a bulkhead that contains changes unfavorable to the party.

Contributors such as Arthur Waldron, Gongxin Xiao, Bruce Gilley, and Minxin Pei offer complimentary views. Collectively they argue that, over time, internal power struggles, corruption, and burdensome authoritarianism will lead to inevitable but not predictable events and that a crisis will open the way to democracy.

You can read the rest of the review from World Future Review by clicking here. Want to read all the latest reviews and research from World Future Review? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

This entry was posted in Book Review, Cultural Research, Decision making, Futures Research, Politics, Social Impact and tagged , , by Cynthia Nalevanko, Editor, Management INK. Bookmark the permalink.

About Cynthia Nalevanko, Editor, Management INK

Founded in 1965, SAGE is the world’s leading independent academic and professional publisher. Known for our commitment to quality and innovation, SAGE has helped inform and educate a global community of scholars, practitioners, researchers, and students across a broad range of subject areas. With over 900 employees globally from principal offices in Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore, and Washington DC, our publishing programme includes more than 560 journals and over 800 books, reference works and databases a year in business, humanities, social sciences, science, technology and medicine. Believing passionately that engaged scholarship lies at the heart of any healthy society and that education is intrinsically valuable, SAGE aims to be the world’s leading independent academic and professional publisher. This means playing a creative role in society by disseminating teaching and research on a global scale, the cornerstones of which are good, long-term relationships, a focus on our markets, and an ability to combine quality and innovation. Leading authors, editors and societies should feel that SAGE is their natural home: we believe in meeting the range of their needs, and in publishing the best of their work. We are a growing company, and our financial success comes from thinking creatively about our markets and actively responding to the needs of our customers.

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