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The Good Communist
Elite Training and State Building in Today's China

$31.99 (C)

  • Date Published: April 2016
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107547698

$ 31.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • Has China become just another capitalist country in a socialist cloak? Will the Chinese Communist Party's rule survive the next ten years of modernization and globalization? Frank Pieke investigates these conundrums in this fascinating account of how government officials are trained for placement in the Chinese Communist Party. Through in-depth interviews with staff members and aspiring trainees, he shows that while the Chinese Communist Party has undergone a radical transformation since the revolutionary years under Mao, it is still incumbent upon cadres, who are selected through a highly rigorous process, to be ideologically and politically committed to the party. It is the lessons learnt through their teachers that shape the political and economic decisions they will make in power. The book offers unique insights into the structure and the ideological culture of the Chinese government, and how it has reinvented itself over the last three decades as a neo-socialist state.

    • Includes interview and observation data, providing first-hand evidence of the life and work of China's cadres
    • Provides a glossary of Chinese terms, facilitating students' access to primary Chinese sources
    • Develops narrative and arguments within topic, providing readers with a firm basis of the issues involved
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "Pieke's seminal contribution is of pressing importance not only to anthropologists interested in the ways in which political power comes to be reproduced and refracted, but, obviously, also to students of politics as well. The underlying dynamics of China's resilient brand of 'adaptive authoritarianism' have emerged as a key research puzzle for students of comparative politics, to whom Pieke's work should also speak volumes." - Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

    “The author’s assessment of the role and impact of training is insightful: the emphasis on theory, knowledge, study and learning reflects a blend of Leninist democratic centralism and a technocratic commitment to modernization and ‘scientific’ rule (p. 143)… This timely and interesting book should be enjoyed by scholars and students interested in the inner workings of the party system.” -Lisheng Dong, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Journal of Chinese Political Science

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2016
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107547698
    • length: 240 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 13 mm
    • weight: 0.35kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Socialism, capitalism and the anthropology of neo-socialist rule
    2. Cadres, cadre training and party schools
    3. Cadre education and training in the twenty-first century
    4. Life and work at party schools
    5. Marketization and centralization of cadre education and training
    6. Cadre training, cadre careers and the changing composition of China's political elite
    7. Conclusions: cadre training and the future of party rule
    Appendix 1. List of interviewees
    Appendix 2. Questionnaire survey
    Appendix 3. Glossary of Chinese terms

  • Author

    Frank N. Pieke, University of Oxford
    Frank N. Pieke is a Lecturer in Modern Politics and the Society of China at the University of Oxford, and is a Fellow of St Cross College. His previous publications include The Ordinary and the Extraordinary: An Anthropological Study of Chinese Reform and the 1989 People's Movement in Beijing (1996) and he was the co-author of Transnational Chinese: Fujianese Migrants in Europe (2004).

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