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Lecture 7

Lecture 7 10-29-12.pdf

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Political Science
Jeffrey Kopstein

Democracy with Chinese Characteristics 2012-10-29 12:03 PM Intro - China is a significant hold out on the end of history theory - An attractive alternative model in China - China eludes end of history theory and the inevitability of democracy - China has began to gain appeal due to it’s economic growth and the decline of the United States - European Union is also being compared to China - Democratic path showing itself to be morally, institutionally, and financially bankrupt - Due to that, the Chinese want political reform, but not democracy - “The people’s wishes for and needs for democracy and freedom are irresistible” – Premier Wen Jia-Bao, interview with CNN, September 23, 2010 - China is currently going through a leadership transition - Discussions of political reform are happening - There is a rise of collective protests occurring in China China in the Modern Era - The idea of liberal democracy is not foreign to China - There have been moments of potential democratic break through - China was at war with England, the Opium war - China lost the war and gave up lots of its land to British Control - They also had to pay war reparations - 1895, they fought a war with the Japanese - They lost again and lost land to Japan - At the end of the Qing Dynasty, the last emperor of china, there was a sense of Chinese defeat - There was rapid population growth with slow economic growth - The west was industrializing but China was not - Lack of national pride, population crisis and lack of industrialization - A national Republican revolution was started against the Manchurian rule over China in October 1911 - There was the proclamation of the republic of China - Sun Yet Sen- “Three Principles of the people” - His main goal was to rebuild a unified China - His three principles to rebuild china 1. The Nation - The Chinese nation should be a unified unit 2. Democracy - This would no longer by a dynastic regime, it would be a democracy - Chinese people would be equal citizens 3. Welfare - The nation was to care for its other citizens, it was their responsibility Non-Democratic Modern China - Turning Theory on its head.. - It is hard to describe what kind of political system china has - They call it Democracy with Chinese characteristics - It is not a democracy with liberal characteristics, not Polyarchy, not a political system with institutionalized uncertainty - What we see in China is a poor human rights record, absent of meaningful elections, fewer freedoms, and a sophisticated censorship machine - People believed as china modernizes, it would become democratic - So far, this has not happened - There have been events which have pointed in the direction of China becoming democratic, but it still has not happened (I) A Democratic Revolution? - China in 1940’s had become the People’s Republic of China - It would adhere to socialism, the way of breaking the bonds of feudalism - But China had continued to adhere to feudalistic tendencies - It would also be built upon the Chinese Revolutionary Spirit - China would adopt an Anti-Foreign Nationalism - They believed that foreigners and foreign powers had nothing good for China - China would be self reliant - There was a High tide of Maoist Socialism (1949-56) - Closed door policy - In 1956, China releases its 12 year plan - People would work together cooperatively - Production did increase but because of people working harder, not because of increase of efficiency 100 Flowers Movement (1956) - When Mao was confident the people would support him and opened up the system to allow the people criticize the party, he believed no one would criticize him - What happened was people considered this offer seriously and asked for political liberalization, democracy - Mao interpreted this as an attack against socialism Anti-Rightest Campaign (1957) - Response to the criticism - Declares any critic as counter revolutionaries and critics were purged, jailed and killed The Great Leap Forward (1958-1962) - An attempt to reenergize the people, with key features - i. The Formation of Communes - All forms of socio-political life were communized - Individualism became erased - ii. Steel Furnaces - The communal logic to production was applied to industrialization - Steel would be the core of their industrialization - Steel production would go rise dramatically - They overtook the US steel industry in over 10 years
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