Non-Fiction Books:

End of an Era

How China's Authoritarian Revival is Undermining Its Rise



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End of an Era by Carl Minzner

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In the late 1970s, China's leaders set their sights on sweeping reform. Radical politics of Maoist revolution gave way to more stable authoritarian rule. Beijing loosened its grip over the economy and society. China opened up to the outside world. On the surface, this has been a success. China's reform era has been characterized by political stability, ideological openness, and rapid economic growth. The past three decades have seen political turmoil topple former Communist East bloc regimes, internal unrest overtake Middle East nations, and populist movements rise to challenge established Western democracies. China, in contrast, has appeared a relative haven of stability and growth. But, as Carl Minzner shows in End of an Era, a closer look at China's reform era reveals a different truth. Over the past three decades, a frozen political system has fueled the rise of entrenched interests within the Communist Party itself. The party has systematically underdeveloped institutions of state governance, causing ripple effects throughout Chinese society at large. Economic cleavages have widened. Social unrest has worsened. Ideological polarization has deepened. Now, Minzner argues, China's leaders are progressively destroying institutional norms and practices that have formed the bedrock of the regime's stability in the reform era in an effort to address these looming problems. In the wake of an authoritarian upsurge under Xi Jinping, uncertainty hangs in the air. End of an Era explains why China's reform era is unraveling and what it means for both the Chinese people and the wider world.

Author Biography

Carl Minzner is Professor of Law at Fordham Law School. He is an expert in Chinese law and governance, and has written extensively on these topics in both academic journals and the popular press.
Release date NZ
March 1st, 2018
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
Oxford University Press
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