State And Society In China: The Consequences Of Reform

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State And Society In China: The Consequences Of Reform

Edited by Arthur Lewis Rosenbaum
Westview Press, 1992
240 pp. $43.00
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In this collection of essays by prominent China specialists, Hong Yung Lee's detailed study of the Chinese bureaucracy finds that professionalization of the Chinese cadre corps in the 1980s transformed it from a body of political activists into a group of educated technocrats. An absolute majority of mayors, governors and party secretaries now have academic training in technical fields or economics. Sociologist Martin Whyte argues that numerous nonpolitical and autonomous social groupings-what political scientists call "civil society"-emerged during the Deng reform era and have fundamentally changed the nature of the relationship between state and society. During the Beijing Spring, prior to Tiananmen, new organizations emerged, large parts of the urban population detached themselves from official organizations to give support to the demonstrators, a vibrant and highly critical public opinion found its voice and the populace resisted all the traditional state control efforts for weeks, until their independence was crushed. Although many of these groups and publications have been suppressed, Whyte argues that the effort to destroy China's civil society has been only partially successful.