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

The Future of China's Past

The Future of China's Past

The Future of China's Past
Kristin Stapleton


The discipline of history has been deeply affected by the post-Mao opening of the PRC to the outside world. Academic exchange with PRC scholars and access to historical materials in Chinese archives have made it possible for historians outside China to conduct research on topics that would be impossible to study without such contact and access. PRC historians, freed from the Mao-era requirement to interpret all history in terms of class struggle, have explored and developed alternative interpretive frameworks, sometimes in cooperation with scholars from other parts of the world.

Nevertheless, as in most parts of the world, history's importance for national identity makes interpretation of the past politically sensitive. ...

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