Ideology and Social Change
Since the Third Plenum of the Eleventh Central Committee in
December 1978, party reformers have been committed to channeling
the increased political awareness and energies of the population
into a strengthened movement for change. The tensions that have
emerged during each successive wave of reform have required
intervention and policy decisions at senior party levels. These
sometimes have taken the form of new initiatives. At other times,
tensions have precipitated a conservative response. Overall, this
political process has seemed to support a gradual but forward
movement of the reform program.
Modernization, by its very nature, is a socially disruptive
process. In 1987, with many of the functions of the party apparatus
still unclear even to party members and the question of Deng
Xiaoping's successor still unsettled, the success of China's reform
program was by no means assured.
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Relatively few book-length studies of post-Mao politics are
available. One of the more notable is John Gardner's Chinese
Politics and the Succession to Mao, the major points of which
are summarized and updated in his lengthy article "China under
Deng." Key official documents for much of the post-Mao period can
be found in The People's Republic of China, 1979-1984,
edited by Harold Hinton. A valuable survey of the period is
provided by A. Doak Barnett's "Ten Years after Mao."
Harry Harding's "Political Development in Post-Mao China," in
Barnett and Ralph Clough's Modernizing China: Post-Mao Reform
and Development, contains useful information on the post-1978
political scene. Articles by Harding, Carol Hamrin, and Christopher
Clarke in the United States Congress Joint Economic Committee's
China's Economy Looks Toward the Year 2000 also are helpful
in understanding the post-Mao era.
Andrew J. Nathan's Chinese Democracy skillfully analyzes
the evolution of the Chinese conception of "democracy." Michel
Oksenberg and Richard Bush, in "China's Political Evolution, 1972-
1982," give extensive descriptions of the Chinese bureaucracy.
Melanie Manion's "The Cadre Management System, Post-Mao: The
Appointment, Promotion, Transfer, and Removal of Party and State
Leaders" is a good examination of the cadre management system.
David S. G. Goodman's "The National CCP Conference of September
1985 and China's Leadership Changes" presents extensive data on
leadership developments in the mid-1980s.
Mao's China and After by Maurice Meisner and Politics
in China by James R. Townsend and Brantly Womack provide
general background on the post-1978 political history of China.
Barnett's older Cadres, Bureaucracy, and Political Power in
Communist China and Richard H. Solomon's Mao's Revolution
and the Chinese Political Culture give excellent background on
contemporary Chinese politics. Also, Franz Schurmann's seminal
work, Ideology and Organization in Communist China, provides
clear and extensive discussion on the basic elements of the Chinese
Biographies of key Chinese leaders can be found in works by
David Chang, Jerome Chen, Stuart Schram, and Dick Wilson. (For
further information and complete citations,
Data as of July 1987