Since the death of Mao, China has entered a new period in its development. Turning away from the all-encompassing emphasis on revolutionary struggle and ideological transformation that characterized the last years of the Maoist era, China's leaders under Deng Xiaoping have initiated dramatic new reform and development policies. In original essays, the contributors, all senior specialists on contemporary China, analyze the reasons for the new policies, the nature and impact of the changes now occurring, and the prospects for a continuation of these policies in the future. Specifically, they examine the Chinese polity as a "consultative authoritarian" system, the farreaching changes in China's agriculture, important shifts in foreign economic relations, the gradual modernization policy pursued by its military leaders, the relaxation of controls on cultural life, and the possibility that current social policies may well increase equality rather than inequality in Chinese society. The authors conclude that it is too early to judge the eventual, long-term outcome of current reforms, which they believe grew out of the political crises and chronic economic problems that afflicted China in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Although they see some opposition and built-in limits to reform, on balance they foresee strong support for continued reform and believe it will be difficult for future leaders to reverse course.

chapter |11 pages


ByA. Doak Barnett, Ralph N. Clough

chapter 1|25 pages

Political Development in Post-Mao China

ByHarry Harding

chapter 2|23 pages

The Prospects for China's Economic Reforms

ByDwight H. Perkins

chapter 4|22 pages

Intellectuals and Cultural Policy After Mao

ByPerry Link

chapter 5|21 pages

Social Trends in China: The Triumph of Inequality?

ByMartin King Whyte