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Civilising Citizens in Post-Mao China: Understanding the Rhetoric of Suzhi

Lin, Delia (University of Adelaide, Australia)

978 1 315 43715 6
Electronic book text
List price(s):
54.95 USD
39.99 GBP

Publication date:
14 July 2017

Full description: 

Political discourse in contemporary China is intimately linked to the patriotic reverie of restoring China as a great civilisation, a dream of reformers since the beginning of the twentieth century. The concept and use of suzhi - a term that denotes the idea of cultivating a `quality' citizenship - is central to this programme of rejuvenation, and is enjoying a revival. This book therefore offers an accessible and comprehensive analysis of suzhi, investigating the underlying cultural, philosophical and psychological foundations that propel the suzhi discourse. Using a new method to analyse Chinese governance - one that is both historical and discursive in approach - the book demonstrates how suzhi has been made into a political resource by the Chinese Communist Party-State, journeying from Confucianism to socialism. Ultimately, it asks the question: if we cannot rely on Western models of governance to explain how China is governed, what method of analysis can we use? Making use of over 200 Chinese-language primary sources, the book highlights the link between suzhi and similar discourses in post-Mao China, including those centring on notions of `civilisation', `harmonious society' and the 'China dream'. As the first book to provide an in-depth study of suzhi and its relevance in Chinese society, Civilising Citizens in Post-Mao China will be useful for students and scholars of Chinese studies, Chinese politics and sociology.

Table of contents: 

Preface A Note on Translation and Transliteration List of Tables and Figures 1 Introduction 2 The Confucian Legacy of Suzhi 3 The Paradigm of Suzhi: Transformational Citizenship 4 Manufacturing Suzhi: from Mini to Mighty 5 The Wenming-Suzhi-Hexie-Zhongguo Meng Continuum: the Process of Pan-politicisation 6 Suzhi Jiaoyu: a Word that Succeeds and a Policy that Fails 7 Conclusion Appendix: Research Design for Chapter 4 Index


Delia Lin lectures at the School of Social Sciences at the University of Adelaide, Australia. Her research interests include political thought, governance, ideology and discourse.




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