The Newsletter 61 Autumn 2012

The Chinese Communist Party, then and now

Mireille Mazard

Reviewed publications:

Brown, Kerry. 2009. Friends and Enemies: The Past, Present and Future of the Communist Party of China. London, UK and New York, NY: Anthem Press. 224 pages, paperback. ISBN: 9781843317814

Laliberté, André and Marc Lanteigne (eds.) 2008. The Chinese Party-State in the 21st Century: Adaptation and the Reinvention of Legitimacy. Abingdon, UK and New York, NY: Routledge. 208 pages, paperback. ISBN: 9780415692182

As it approaches its hundredth birthday, the Chinese Communist Party faces a crisis of legitimacy. It has weathered the turbulent events of the twentieth century to emerge as the single dominant force in Chinese politics. Ruling over a fifth of the world’s population, the CCP is enmeshed with every organ of Chinese government and dominates the apparatus of state, from the military to the media. As Will Hutton notes in the foreword to Friends and Enemies, “Today’s China is the Party’s creation” (Brown, p. x). It is impossible to understand contemporary Chinese society without addressing the role of the CCP within it.

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