Publications

    From Rebel to Ruler: One Hundred Years of the Chinese Communist Party

    Tony Saich, July 2021 

    Mao Zedong and the twelve other young men who founded the Chinese Communist Party in 1921 could hardly have imagined that less than thirty years later they would be rulers. On its hundredth anniversary, the party remains in command, leading a nation primed for global dominance.

    Tony Saich tells the authoritative, comprehensive story of the Chinese Communist Party—its rise to power against incredible odds, its struggle to consolidate rule and overcome self-inflicted disasters, and its thriving amid other communist parties’ collapse. Saich argues that the brutal Japanese invasion in the 1930s actually helped the party. As the Communists retreated into the countryside, they established themselves as the populist, grassroots alternative to the Nationalists, gaining the support they would need to triumph in the civil war. Once in power, however, the Communists faced the difficult task of learning how to rule. Saich examines the devastating economic consequences of Mao’s Great Leap Forward and the political chaos of the Cultural Revolution, as well as the party’s rebound under Deng Xiaoping’s reforms.

    Leninist systems are thought to be rigid, yet the Chinese Communist Party has proved adaptable. From Rebel to Ruler shows that the party owes its endurance to its flexibility. But is it nimble enough to realize Xi Jinping’s “China Dream”? Challenges are multiplying, as the growing middle class makes new demands on the state and the ideological retreat from communism draws the party further from its revolutionary roots. The legacy of the party may be secure, but its future is anything but guaranteed.

    Finding Allies and Making Revolution

    Tony Saich, Brill, February 2020 

    What does a Dutchman have to do with the rise of the Chinese Communist Party? Finding Allies and Making Revolution by Tony Saich reveals how Henk Sneevliet (alias Maring), arriving as Lenin’s choice for China work, provided the communists with two of their most enduring legacies: the idea of a Leninist party and the tactic of the united front. Sneevliet strived to instill discipline and structure for the left-leaning intellectuals searching for a solution to China’s humiliation. He was not an easy man and clashed with the Chinese comrades and his masters in Moscow. This new analysis is based on Sneevliet’s diaries and reports, together with contemporary materials from key Chinese figures, and important documents held in the Comintern’s China archive.

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    Playing by the Informal Rules
    Li, Yao. 2018. Playing by the Informal Rules. Cambridge University Press. Visit Publisher's Site Abstract

    Yao Li, Cambridge University Press, November 2018  

    Growing protests in non-democratic countries are often seen as signals of regime decline. China, however, has remained stable amid surging protests. Playing by the Informal Rules highlights the importance of informal norms in structuring state-protester interactions, mitigating conflict, and explaining regime resilience. Drawing on a nationwide dataset of protest and multi-sited ethnographic research, this book presents a bird's-eye view of Chinese contentious politics and illustrates the uneven application of informal norms across regions, social groups, and time. Through examinations of protests and their distinct implications for regime stability, Li offers a novel theoretical framework suitable for monitoring the trajectory of political contention in China and beyond. Overall, this study sheds new light on political mobilization and authoritarian resilience and provides fresh perspectives on power, rules, legitimacy, and resistance in modern societies.

     

    Incentivized Development in China: Leaders, Governance, and Growth in China's Counties

    David J. Bulman, Cambridge University Press, 2016

    China's economy, as a whole, has developed rapidly over the past 35 years, and yet its richest county is over 100 times richer in per capita terms than its poorest county. To explain this vast variation in development, David J. Bulman investigates the political foundations of local economic growth in China, focusing on the institutional and economic roles of county-level leaders and the career incentives that shape their behaviour. Through a close examination of six counties complemented by unique nation-wide data, he presents and explores two related questions: what is the role of County Party Secretaries in determining local governance and growth outcomes? And why do County Party Secretaries emphasize particular developmental priorities? Suitable for scholars of political economy, development economics, and comparative politics, this original study analyzes the relationship between political institutions, local governance, and leadership roles within Chinese government to explain the growing divergence in economic development between counties.

    Governance and Politics of China
    Saich, Tony. 2015. Governance and Politics of China . Palgrave Macmillan. Visit Publisher's Site Abstract
    This systematically revised fourth edition of the leading text on Chinese politics covers the major changes under Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang and their predecessors, and the recent attempts to restore Chinese Communist Party prestige and strengthen the role of the market in economic reforms whilst managing urbanization and addressing corruption.
    Political Governance In China
    Saich, Anthony J. 2015. Political Governance In China . Edward Elgar Publishing. Visit Publisher's Site Abstract
    Including key research articles from specialists in the field, this volume provides an introduction and critical insights into the most important debates surrounding the governance of contemporary China. The material will enable readers to understand how China is ruled, how participation and protest are regulated by the authorities, and the relationship between the Central state and its local agencies. Spanning the most important areas of the subject, the chosen articles explore the study of Chinese politics, the nature of the Chinese political system, the policy-making process, the nature of the local state, participation and protest, and authoritarian resilience or democratization. Professor Saich’s collection brings together essential reading for students of China, those who are interested in comparative politics, and the general reader who wants a coherent introduction about how China is ruled.
    Chinese Village, Global Market: New Collectives and Rural Development

    Biliang Hu and Tony Saich, Palgrave Macmillan, 2012 

    This book is a story of one village, Yantian, and its remarkable economic and social transformation. The village sits in the Pearl River Delta, the engine of China's emergence as the hub of global manufacturing and production. The village's success relied on the creation of new economic collectives, its ability to leverage networks, and its proximity to Hong Kong to transform forever the formerly sleepy rural area. The result of almost 20 years of field work by the authors, Chinese Village, Global Market shows how outcomes are shaped by a number of factors such as path dependence, social structures, economic resources and local entrepreneurship.

    Governance and Politics of China
    Saich, Anthony. 2010. Governance and Politics of China (Third). Third. Palgrave Macmillan,. Visit Publisher's Site Abstract

    Anthony Saich, Third Edition, Palgrave Macmillan, 2010

    Lavish spectacles such as the Beijing Olympics and Expo 2010 have raised China's global profile and echoed predictions of a rise to the position of a major world actor. Yet moves towards a market-based economy, together with the global recession, have exacerbated a number of political and social challenges for the Chinese government. The tensions between communist and capitalist identities continue to divide society. The People's Republic is now over sixty years old – an appropriate juncture at which to reassess the state of contemporary Chinese politics. In this substantially revised third edition, Saich delivers a thorough introduction to all aspects of politics and governance in post-Mao China, taking full account of the changes of the Seventeenth Party Congress and Eleventh National People's Congress.

    China Rules
    lan Alon,, Julian Chang, Marc Fetscherin, Christoph Latteman, and John R. McIntyre, ed. 2009. China Rules. Palgrave Macmillan. Visit Publisher's Site Abstract

    Ilan Alon, Julian Chang, Marc Fetscherin, Christoph Latteman, and John R. McIntyre, editors, Palgrave Macmillan, 2009

    The development of the Chinese multinational is a new feature of globalization. This book deals in the first section with the political economy and governance of China. The contemporary discourse of the internationalization of Chinese enterprises is discussed from different theoretical perspectives and shows how it will reshape global competition, and how the new corporate governance structures impact the long-term performance of state-owned enterprises in China. The second section assesses international trade and foreign direct investment (FDI) by Chinese firms and their impact on developed countries. The effects of China's policy and regulatory change on outward FDI are outlined and a Sino-EU Intra-Industry Trade and FDI analysis explores the nature of the challenge facing the EU. Section three describes the developments in certain Chinese industries, such as telecommunications, electronics and automotives, and explains companies and government strategies to gain access to global natural resources.

    Providing Public Goods in Transitional China
    Saich, Anthony, and Palgrave Macmillan. 2008. Providing Public Goods in Transitional China. Publishers Limited. Visit Publisher's Site Abstract

    Anthony Saich, Palgrave Macmillan Publishers Limited, 2008

    China's leaders faced a major challenge to provide citizens with acceptable social welfare during the economic transition. They are confronted with building a new support system in the countryside, shifting the burden in urban China from the factory to the local state, and integrating new social groups into existing systems. Providing Public Goods comprises a detailed study of healthcare, disease control, social insurance, and social relief.

    China Urbanizes: Consequences, Strategies, and Policies
    Saich, Anthony J., and Shahid Yusuf, ed. 2008. China Urbanizes: Consequences, Strategies, and Policies. World Bank Publications. Visit Publisher's Site Abstract
    Over the next 10-15 years, China's urbanization rate is expected to rise from 43 percent to well over 50 percent, adding an additional 200 million mainly rural migrants to the current urban population of 560 million. How China copes with such a large migration flow will strongly influence rural-urban inequality, the pace at which urban centers expand their economic performance, and the urban environment. The growing population will necessitate a big push strategy to maintain a high rate of investment in housing and the urban physical infrastructure and urban services. To finance such expansion will require a significant strengthening and diversification of China's financial system.
    Economic Reform and Cross-Strait Relations: Taiwan and China in the WTO
    Chang, Julian, and Steven M. Goldstein. 2007. Economic Reform and Cross-Strait Relations: Taiwan and China in the WTO. World Scientific Publishing. Visit Publisher's Site Abstract
    The book begins with an introduction which analyzes the state of Cross-Strait economic and political relations on the eve of dual accession to the WTO, and briefly introduces the chapters which follow. The first chapter discusses the concessions made by both sides in their accession agreements and is followed by two chapters which describe the manner in which the Taiwan economy was reformed to achieve compliance as well as the specific, restrictive trade regime that was put into place to manage mainland trade. The next two chapters deal with the implications of that restrictive trade regime for the Taiwan economy in Asia and with the nature of the interactions between the two sides within the WTO. The final four chapters of the volume examine the impact of membership on four sectors of the economy: finance; agriculture; electronics; and automobiles.