This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book focuses on a follow-up conference held a year later, deals with a more specific topic: the contradictions within modernization and their links to the global wave of political authoritarianism in its many guises. It discusses the overriding political task has been more complicated: building a nation while pushing economic development and maintaining a tolerant, civil polity. The book examines technological developments in past decades, especially the growing dominance of the information and social media behemoths have caused a deep rift in the socio-economic fabric of communities and societies. It highlights the complex interplay between modernization and modernity, while focusing on “authoritarianism with Chinese characteristics.” The book explores the plurality of approaches to modernity goes hand in hand with the failures of the Washington Consensus, which imposed upon the world a single understanding of what it means to be modern.