Saving the Nation: Economic Modernity in Republican China

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University of Chicago Press, Feb 15, 2010 - History - 336 pages

Economic modernity is so closely associated with nationhood that it is impossible to imagine a modern state without an equally modern economy. Even so, most people would have difficulty defining a modern economy and its connection to nationhood. In Saving the Nation, Margherita Zanasi explores this connection by examining the first nation-building attempt in China after the fall of the empire in 1911.

Challenging the assumption that nations are products of technological and socioeconomic forces, Zanasi argues that it was notions of what constituted a modern nation that led the Nationalist nation-builders to shape China’s institutions and economy. In their reform effort, they confronted several questions: What characterized a modern economy? What role would a modern economy play in the overall nation-building effort? And how could China pursue economic modernization while maintaining its distinctive identity? Zanasi expertly shows how these questions were negotiated and contested within the Nationalist Party. Silenced in the Mao years, these dilemmas are reemerging today as a new leadership once again redefines the economic foundation of the nation.

 

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Contents

INTRODUCTION
1
PART I Envisioning Modern China
23
PART II Building the Corporativist State
79
PART III From Theory to Practice
131
PART IV Defending Which Nation?
201
CONCLUSION
229
GLOSSARY
239
NOTES
245
BIBLIOGRAPHY
283
INDEX
299
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About the author (2010)

Margherita Zanasi is associate professor in the Department of History at Louisiana State University.

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