China's Democratic Future: How It Will Happen and Where It Will Lead

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Columbia University Press, May 6, 2004 - Political Science - 320 pages
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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.

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China's democratic future: how it will happen and where it will lead

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Gilley (Tiger on the Brink: Jiang Zemin and China's New Elite) is well qualified to write about Chinese democracy, as he spent more than a decade in China and Hong Kong working for the Far Eastern ... Read full review


Broken Promises
The Bane of GOP Rule
Breakdown and Mobilization
The Democratic Breakthrough
The Immediate Aftermath
The Political Challenge
Refurbishing Economic and Social Life
A Changed International Role

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About the author (2004)

Bruce Gilley 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. He now lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

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