The new materialism underlying economic modernization in post-Mao China rests on the principles of the primacy of productivity over ideology, use of incentives based on material interests, and acknowledgment of economic and social complexity. An impressive array of political reforms has accompanied the vast changes in economic policies that these principles have inspired. These include legal and constitutional reform, a decrease in public interference in the private lives of citizens, an increase in mass voice in most organizations, and a strengthening of the people's congress system. The reforms are intended to contribute to modernization by institutionalizing orderly participation by intellectuals and the masses. The capacity of such reforms to limit arbitrary power through institutional and electoral checks is rendered ambiguous by the continued hegemony of the Chinese Communist Party.

The text of this article is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.