Ideas and Great Transformation in Post-Mao China
He Li, Professor, Department of Political Science, Merrimack College, North Andover, MA, and Henry Luce Foundation Resident Scholar, SAR
Colloquium, SAR Boardroom
Wednesday, February 5, 2014, 12:00–1:00 pm, Free
Since initiating market reforms in 1978, China has enjoyed an unusually long run of high economic growth. No other period of China’s history has witnessed such a massive scale of transformation. Industrialization, urbanization, privatization, and globalization are all happening at the same time. Amid rapid economic and social changes, intellectual debates among Chinese scholars have become more visible, salient and divergent. There have been disparate and not easily reconcilable perspectives on China’s transformation and its future, including liberalism, neo-authoritarianism, New Leftism, democratic socialism, and new-Confucianism. These debates have created a strong current of discourse that has influenced government policy and public opinion. The purpose of this talk is to provide a brief overview the major schools of political thought in post-Mao China. It examines the arguments of the major currents, describes their origins, development, and explores the contribution of the leading thinkers.