This book makes an important contribution to the study of changes in ChinaÃ¢Â€Â™s institutions and their impact on the national economy as well as ordinary peopleÃ¢Â€Â™s daily material life from 1800 to 2000. Kent Deng reveals ChinaÃ¢Â€Â™s mega-cycle of prosperity-poverty-prosperity without the usual attribution to the 1840 Opium War, or the alleged population pressure, class struggle and oriental despotism. The book challenges the conventional view on Ã¢Â€Â˜rebellionsÃ¢Â€Â™, Ã¢Â€Â˜revolutionsÃ¢Â€Â™ and their alleged motivations and outcomes. Its findings separate commonly circulated myth with reality based on solid evidence and careful evaluation. The benchmark used by the author is peopleÃ¢Â€Â™s entitlement and mundane day-to-day material well being, instead of the stereotype of aggregates of industrial hardware and national GDP.
ChinaÃ¢Â€Â™s Political economy in Modern Times proves that state-building was the prime mover in ChinaÃ¢Â€Â™s modern history. Contrary to the popular belief in mass movement, Deng shows convincingly that changes were in most cases imposed by a minority with external help. Therefore, the quality of the state was unpredictable, seen from the anti-state that cost lives and economic growth.
This book will be of interest to students and scholars of Chinese Politics, Chinese Economics, Chinese History, and Political Economy.