The study of contemporary China constitutes a fascinating yet challenging area of scholarly inquiry. Recent decades have brought dramatic changes to China's economy, society and governance. Analyzing such changes in the context of multiple disciplinary perspectives offers opportunites as well as challenges for scholars in the field known as contemporary China Studies. The SAGE Handbook of Contemporary China is a two-volume exploration of the transformations of contemporary China, firmly grounded in the both disciplinary and China-specific contexts. Drawing on a range of scholarly approaches found in the social sciences and history, an international team of contributors engage with the question of what a rapidly changing China means for the broader field of contemporary China studies, and identify areas of promising future research. Part 1: Context: History, Economy, and the Environment Part 2: Economic Transformations Part 3: Politics and Government Part 4: China on the Global Stage Part 5: China's Foreign Policy Part 6: National and Nested Identities Part 7: Urbanization and Spatial Development Part 8: Poverty and Inequality Part 9: Social Change Part 10: Future Directions for Contemporary China Studies
China was declared by the Communist Party as a ‘workers’ state’ more than six decades ago. More people go to work each day in China than the combined total across the next three most populous countries (Hurst 2015). Yet, until relatively recently, workers were the neglected stepchildren of Chinese politics research, even as sociologists and historians examined them more intently (e.g., inter alia: Hershatter 1986; Honig 1986; Walder 1986). Far more attention was paid to villagers, intellectual and commercial elites, cadres, and revolutionaries than to the supposed principal beneficiaries of the revolution and those arguably most affected by market reform. Still, a vibrant literature has emerged over the past couple of decades, such that we ...