chapter  15
15 Pages

Historical Perspectives on Chinese Democracy: The Overseas Democracy Movement Today

WithAndrew J. Nathan

Overseas democracy movement (ODM) is a congeries of individuals and organizations who have been trying to promote Chinese democracy from locations outside of China since the crackdown in June 1989. The total size of the ODM is difficult to estimate. It finds its main base of support among the estimated fifty to seventy thousand Chinese students and scholars in this country, though some Taiwan, Hong Kong, and US residents also participate, and the major organizations also have branches in Europe, Japan, Australia, and elsewhere. If the ODM is a failure, it is a failure in many of the same ways and for many of the reasons that the pre-1949 democracy movement was a failure. All the problems mentioned so far relate to a fourth characteristic of the two democracy movements, social and political marginality. The sense of marginality is obvious among the exiles.