Cover: China’s Trapped Transition: The Limits of Developmental Autocracy, from Harvard University PressCover: China’s Trapped Transition in PAPERBACK

China’s Trapped Transition

The Limits of Developmental Autocracy

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Product Details

PAPERBACK

$30.50 • £24.95 • €27.50

ISBN 9780674027541

Publication Date: 03/15/2008

Academic Trade

308 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

7 tables

World

Thought-provoking… Mr. Pei argues, persuasively, that China’s gradualism, often favourably contrasted with the former Soviet Union’s flirtation with radical reforms, is as much a political as an economic strategy.—Martin Wolf, Financial Times

[An] acute and insightful examination of China’s ongoing transition.—Chris Hunter, China Economic Review

Pei’s most significant contribution lies in his lucid exposition of the causal links between the structural logic of China’s ‘illiberal adaptation’ and its manifest socio-economic and political consequences… He has arguably—like Elvin before him—raised the level of debate and altered the terms of engagement.—Richard Baum, China Journal

As Pei sees it, big trouble looms [for China]. Continued progress toward a more modern economy will require the establishment of a true rule of law, which in turn will require ‘institutional curbs’ on governmental action. These two limitations on power are incompatible with the party’s insistence on dominating society. So long as the current political framework remains in place, then, China is effectively, and perhaps fatally, trapped in its state of transition… [China’s Trapped Transition presents a] comprehensive and, I believe, compelling understanding of present-day China.—Gordon G. Chang, Commentary

Pei does not have much time for the optimistic assumption that democracy in China is just around the corner… For Pei, there is little chance of dethroning the Communist party behemoth in spite of the heroic efforts of the dissidents and democracy campaigners.—Chris Patten, Financial Times

In this superb work, Pei asks penetrating questions about the course of China’s development. He offers a very effective critique of the gradualist approach to reform, explaining that the problems China faces are not incidental to but an integral part of that approach. Powerfully argued, this is a major contribution sure to stir debate.—Joseph Fewsmith, author of China since Tiananmen

Not only does Minxin Pei make the case that the Chinese reforms are partial and self-limiting, but he also calls into question the hopeful view that rapid growth will ultimately generate political reform. His important book has implications for current debates about the United States–China relationship, but will also force a rethinking of the broader comparative literature on the developmental state.—Stephan Haggard, co-author of The Political Economy of Democratic Transitions

Minxin Pei is unquestionably one of this country’s best informed and most insightful analysts of contemporary Chinese politics. This well-written, provocative book—a sobering picture of a China beset by severe social problems yet resistant to the political reforms needed to resolve them—directly challenges much of the conventional wisdom about the rise of China. It is certain to be welcomed by scholars, policymakers, and general readers alike.—Elizabeth J. Perry, author of Patrolling the Revolution

Pei’s notion of a ‘trapped transition’ will prove valuable—and not just for its application to China. It serves to challenge the deterministic and evolutionary assumptions behind much of the literature on democratization.—Philippe C. Schmitter, European University Institute

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