• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

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

Continuity and Change: The Economy in the Twentieth Century
Continuity and Change: The Economy in the Twentieth Century
Chris Bramall
Introduction

The story of Chinese economic growth in the twentieth century is one of continuity and change. The central analytical challenge is to identify the respective roles of each, and to determine if either 1949 or 1978 was a true climacteric.1 As far as the ‘liberation’ of 1949 is concerned, some see China as poised on the verge of take-off in the late 1930s, only for that take-off to be aborted by war and the introduction of an alien economic model after 1949 (Brandt 1989; Rawski 1989). Only after Mao's death could the journey along the pre-Revolutionary growth path be resumed. For ...

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