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China's Communist Party: Atrophy and Adaptation Paperback – March 2, 2009
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"Fascinating study."--"Political Science Quarterly"
"A valuable addition to the debate on the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the prospect of political change and societal stability in China. . . . A page turner, well researched and informative."--"Journal of Asian Stds"
"Fascinating study."--Anthony Saich"Political Science Quarterly" (04/22/2009)
Fascinating study. --Anthony Saich"Political Science Quarterly" (04/22/2009)"
From the Inside Flap
To understand Chinese politics, one has to understand the complex and manifold role of the Chinese Communist Party. Shambaugh's book provides this much-needed knowledge and insight.” Zbigniew Brzezinski, Center for Strategic and International Studies
Unlike deductive or speculative Western discourse on the direction of China's political change, this authoritative book scrutinizes the Chinese Communist Party on the basis of its own discourse about other party-states as well as the way it applies these lessons in rebuilding efforts. The coverage of comparative communism is a tour de force, breaking exciting new ground in explaining the important debates over the Soviet Union. The analysis of the ideological and organizational rebuilding of the Party sets the standard for future writings on Chinese politics. With convenient summaries of a wide range of views by Western scholars, this book can serve as a text that combines an overview of the field with the author's clear point of view on China's future.”Gilbert Rozman, Princeton University
"David Shambaugh's innovative investigation of how China understood the fall of European communism contributes an important new dimension to our understanding of the Chinese regime's own trajectory. Shambaugh shows how the lessons China's Communist Party took from the Soviet and other collapses helped to shape their reforms, which were aimed at avoiding the fatal errors of communist regimes elsewhere. This book reveals how well the Chinese learned their lessons, as demonstrated by the regime's carefully targeted adaptations and its consequent survival."Andrew J. Nathan, co-author of China's New Rulers
Top Customer Reviews
In China's Communist Party: Atrophy and Adaptation, David Shambaugh, director of the China Policy program at George Washington University, argues that the CCP has been anything but complacent since the fall of the Soviet Union and that, above all, its principal objective has been to ensure its survival.
Little known to most, the CCP and the various academic centers that fall under its purview have expended a tremendous amount of intellectual capital studying the many variables that, combined, resulted in the collapse of the CPSU and other communist governments around the world. In fact, by looking at systemic causes (economic; political/coercive; social/cultural; international), Chinese analyses of what went wrong for the Soviet Union were far more thorough than Western accounts, which tended to see Mikhail Gorbachev as the principal cause of the CPSU's demise. In China's view, the Soviet apparatus had become far too atrophied, too top-heavy, not flexible enough and too dogmatic, while Gorbachev's intervention came too late, too fast, and in many ways was misguided, as it sought to emulate the Western model.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
One of the more interesting parts of the book is the detailed descriptions provides as to how the Chinese "Think Tanks" viewed the changes in the Soviet Union and Europe in the late 1980's and 1990's. It is even more interesting to seek to understand how the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) sought to incorporate change into the party.
The reaosn I wanted to read this book (and I do recommend it to those interested in contemporary Chinese politics) is to better understand the United States relationship with the Chinese government. While the balance of trade between the United States and China favors the latter; and, the debt instruments be issued by the US Treasury are being purchased rapidly by the Chinese interests, it is time every thinking American serioulsy ponder the American-Chinese relationship as never before.
I am taken aback by the Chinese drive into science and technology in the 21st Century, I am concerned that America will soon find itself behind the Chinese in a human space program with the next footprints on the moon being Chinese. A recent MIT study recommended cooperation instead of competition between US and China space interests. This book provides a little more context to think about our national relationships.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
From my perspective as a non-specialist, I thought there was perhaps more history than I had hoped for and not enough analysis of the future of the Party.Published 8 months ago by Christopher Low
Whether you are a "China Watcher" or not, you will get a lot from this fairly concise book. Shambaugh is one of my favorite China scholars.Published on December 12, 2012 by Ross Keener
June 4, 1989 is a memorable day in Communist history. That day the CCP ended the months'-long protest in Tiananmen Square, and Polish voters ousted the Communist part in Poland. Read morePublished on July 13, 2010 by Loyd Eskildson
David Shambaugh sets out to answer whether or not the Chinese Communist Party can survive? While the simple answer is yes, he is cautious about predicting what this future party or... Read morePublished on December 30, 2009 by Skadden