China’s Deep Reform: Domestic Politics in Transition
Edited by Lowell Dittmer and Guoli Liu
Rowman and Littlefield, 2006, 532 pp.
This impressive anthology presents a selection of articles on China's post-Mao reforms, which together offer a detailed analysis of their political and economic effects both in China and abroad. Elite politics became more open and aboveboard, while the economy was opened up to foreign investment and trade (although there has been relatively little progress on implementing the rule of law). The authors here, anxious to stress the latest developments, somewhat overemphasize positive and underreport negative ones. Yet there is no denying that they are broadly correct in speaking of China's "deep reforms" -- reforms that have altered the basic structures of institutions and fundamental cultural norms. Certainly, post-reform China is a much happier place to live and work than Mao's China ever was.