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China’s New Order

China’s New Order

Society, Politics, and Economy in Transition

Wang Hui

Translated by Rebecca E. Karl
Edited and translated by Theodore Huters

ISBN 9780674021112

Publication date: 04/30/2006

As the world is drawn together with increasing force, our long-standing isolation from—and baffling ignorance of—China is ever more perilous. This book offers a powerful analysis of China and the transformations it has undertaken since 1989.

Wang Hui is unique in China’s intellectual world for his ability to synthesize an insider’s knowledge of economics, politics, civilization, and Western critical theory. A participant in the Tiananmen Square movement, he is also the editor of the most important intellectual journal in contemporary China. He has a grasp and vision that go beyond contemporary debates to allow him to connect the events of 1989 with a long view of Chinese history. Wang Hui argues that the features of contemporary China are elements of the new global order as a whole in which considerations of economic growth and development have trumped every other concern, particularly those of democracy and social justice. At its heart this book represents an impassioned plea for economic and social justice and an indictment of the corruption caused by the explosion of “market extremism.”

As Wang Hui observes, terms like “free” and “unregulated” are largely ideological constructs masking the intervention of highly manipulative, coercive governmental actions on behalf of economic policies that favor a particular scheme of capitalist acquisition—something that must be distinguished from truly free markets. He sees new openings toward social, political, and economic democracy in China as the only agencies by which the unstable conditions thus engendered can be remedied.


  • This is the most radical, tough-minded, and sustained analysis of 1989 and all that has followed that I have read. The punchy prose style gives the book an urgent, even strident, edge that makes it a pleasure to read. You feel yourself in the presence of a strong mind, as well as someone who cares deeply about the issues at stake here - issues of social inequality, social injustice, and a hegemonic world order committed to perpetuating both.

    —Tim Brook, University of Toronto


  • Wang Hui is Distinguished Professor of Literature and History at Tsinghua University and founding Director of the Tsinghua Institute for Advanced Study in Humanities and Social Sciences. His books include China’s Twentieth Century, China from Empire to Nation-State, The Politics of Imagining Asia, and China’s New Order.
  • Theodore Huters is Professor Emeritus of Chinese at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Chief Editor of Renditions, the Chinese University of Hong Kong’s translation journal. He is author of Bringing the World Home: Appropriations of the West in Late Qing and Early Republican China, editor of China’s New Order, and coeditor of Revolutionary Literature in China.
  • Rebecca E. Karl is Assistant Professor of East Asian Studies and History at New York University.

Book Details

  • 256 pages
  • 0-11/16 x 5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press

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