Challenging the Mandate of Heaven: Social Protest and State Power in China
Social science theories of contentious politics have been based almost exclusively on evidence drawn from the European and American experience, and classic texts in the field make no mention of either the Chinese Communist revolution or the Cultural Revolution--surely two of the most momentous social movements of the twentieth century. China's record of popular upheaval, moreover, stretches back well beyond this century, indeed all the way back to the third century B.C. This is a direct effect of the Confucian mandate of heaven which bestowed instant legitimacy on successful rebel leaders. This book, by bringing together studies of protest that span the Imperial, Republican, and Communist eras, introduces Chinese patterns and provides a forum to consider ways in which contentious politics in China might serve to reinforce, refine or reshape theories derived from Western cases.
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