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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A razor-sharp analysis of the survivability of China's Communist Party, February 8, 2009
This review is from: China's Communist Party: Atrophy and Adaptation (Paperback)
Professor Shambaugh goes on great length to researching survivability of an authoritarian regime that has prospered for years in the Asia Pacific region.

For the previous two decades, a group of leading political specialists including Roderick MacFarquhar (Harvard University), Richard Baum and Susan Shirk (University of California), and Gordon G. Chang have predicted the fall or protracted stagnation of the China's communist party (CCP). To them, the CCP is a fragile political institution and it is just a matter of time before the party is overthrown. In this book, Professor Shambaugh maintains that during and since the 1990s, the CCP has already instituted a series of massive and incremental reforms (P.181) to remould and strengthen its ideology, propaganda apparatus, governing capability, party apparatus and discipline, cadre competence and training, and leadership succession so that it can consolidate and sustain its rule in China (P.103). Unlike the demise of other communist regimes in Eastern Europe and Russia, the CCP can continue to survive because it has been very proactive to undertaking postmortem assessment of these cathartic events (P.41) and paying much attention to the study of other political parties in non-communist countries (P.92) such as People's Action Party's (PAP) in Singapore, Liberal Demoncratic Party (LDP) in Japan, and social democratic parties in UK and the European continent in order to appreciate what reforms it should institute in shoring up its legitimacy and ruling capacity.

Chapter 8 (P.161-181) covers an easy-to-understand but comprehensive assessment of the survivability of the CCP. The balance sheet contains 70 economic, political, social, cultural, coercive, and international variables that help readers to appreciate why and how the CCP can remain a nationwide organization of considerable authority and power.

This book is highly recommended to readers who intends to understand the complexities of politics in China.
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