China's Uncertain Future

Jean-Luc Domenach. Translated by George Holoch

Columbia University Press

China's Uncertain Future

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Pub Date: November 2014

ISBN: 9780231152259

208 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $28.00£22.95

Pub Date: December 2012

ISBN: 9780231152242

208 Pages

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List Price: $80.00£66.95

Pub Date: December 2012

ISBN: 9780231526456

208 Pages

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China's Uncertain Future

Jean-Luc Domenach. Translated by George Holoch

Columbia University Press

Based on his experience as a scholar and diplomat stationed in China, Jean-Luc Domenach consults a wealth of archival and contemporary materials to examine China's place in the world. A sympathetic yet critical observer, Domenach brings his intimate knowledge of the country to bear on a range of crucial issues, such as the growth (or deterioration) of China's economy, the government's ever-delayed democratization, the potential outcomes of a national political crisis, and the possible escalation of a revamped authoritarianism.

Domenach ultimately reads China's current progress as a set of easy accomplishments presaging a more difficult era of development. His finely nuanced analysis captures the difficult decisions now confronting China's elite, who are under tremendous pressure to support an economy based on innovation and consumption, establish a political system based on law and popular participation, rethink their national identity and spatial organization, and define a more positive approach to the world's problems. These leaders are also besieged by corruption among their ranks, an increasingly restless urban population, and a sharp decline in the country's demographic growth. Domenach taps into these anxieties and the attempt to alleviate them, revealing a China much less confident and secure than many would believe.
Now that the world's most populous country has ceased to be an abstraction... French books are suddenly among the most down-to-earth. The latest is Jean-Luc Domenach's excellent La Chine m'inquiète, written after his stay in the country from 2002 to 2007. Through a hailstorm of statistics, an outline of contemporary China appears.... Domenach has a sharp nose for Chinese paradoxes. Times Literary Supplement
This is the best general introduction to contemporary China I have read. Written for the layman in a lively, engaging style, China's Uncertain Future is grounded in solid scholarship and benefits from the perceptive eye of one of Europe's leading China experts. David A. Palmer, author of Qigong Fever: Body, Science, and Utopia in China
Informed, accessible, engaging... highly recommended. Choice
Domenach's in-depth exploration of the complex issues facing China makes this a welcome addition to the literature. Asian Studies Review
Acknowledgments
Introduction: The New "Chinese Moment"
Book I. Measure for Measure
1. The Regime's New Foundations
2. In a New World
3. The Magnitude and Weaknesses of Growth
Book II. The Acid Test
4. Explanation
5. The Acceleration of History
Book III. The Great Riddles of the Future
6. Can China Be Governed?
7. One People?
8. Will China Finally Discover the World?
9. What Does China Want?
Conclusion: China's Great Challenge
Afterword: China Moves Toward a Consumer Economy
List of Abbreviations
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Read the chapter, "Can China Be Governed?" (to view in full screen, click on icon in bottom right-hand corner)

About the Author

Jean-Luc Domenach is research director at Centre d'Etudes et de Recherche Internationales (CERI). He lived in Tokyo from 1970 to 1972 and served as the French cultural attaché in Hong Kong from 1976 to 1978. A former policy analyst at the Policy Planning Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, former director of CERI, and former vice president for research at Sciences Po, he spent five years in Beijing, where he created and led the Antenne Franco-Chinoise de Sciences Humaines et Sociales at Tsinghua University. Domenach is a regular columnist for Ouest-France, a member of the editorial board of Vingtième siècle, and a correspondent for L'Histoire, as well as a regular contributor to Politique internationale, Critique internationale, Pacific Review, and Asia Europe Journal.