Date of this Version
November 28, 2008 in The China Beat http://www.thechinabeat.org/
Last year, the Association for Asian Studies inaugurated a new series of booklets under their “Resources for Teaching About Asia” branch called “Key Issues in Asian Studies.” The first two booklets in the series were published in 2007: Political Rights in Post-Mao China by Merle Goldman and Gender, Sexuality, and Body Politics in Modern Asia by Michael Peletz. (Those interested in applying to write a “Key Issues” booklet should see the AAS’s author guidelines.)
Goldman’s book on political rights in contemporary China canvases the factions that dominated political discussions in the post-Mao era, and is key reading for those who want a quick introduction to the post-1989 Chinese political landscape. (The booklet clocks in at a very manageable 76 pages.) The primary topic of Post-Mao China is actually politics from the late 1980s to the late 1990s; there is very little discussion of politics in the new millennia. Even so, for those perpetually mixing up their new leftists with their neo-Maoists, this is a good start for clarification. And with protests in the news of late, Goldman’s sketch of the definitions of citizenship participation and varying groups’ access to and engagement in the political process provides useful background information.