A type of nation-state in which the Communist Party attempts to exercise a complete monopoly on political power and controls all important state institutions
The theoretical foundation of communism based on the ideas of the German philosopher Karl Marx (1818-1883) and the leader of the Russian Revolution, V. I. Lenin (1870-1924). Marxism is, in essence, a theory of historical development that emphasizes the struggle between exploiting and exploited classes, particularly the struggle between the bourgeoisie (capitalists) and the proletariat (the industrial working class). Leninism emphasizes the strategy and organization to be used by the communist party to overthrow capitalism and seize power as a first step on the road to communism.
In the People's Republic of China, a territorial unit equivalent to a province that contains a large concentration of ethnic minorities. These regions have some autonomy in the cultural sphere but in most policy matters are strictly subordinate to the central government.
A military strategy based on small bands of soldiers (the guerrillas) who use hit-and-run tactics to attack a numerically superior and better-armed enemy.
Newly Industrializing Country (NIC)
A term used to describe a group of countries that achieved rapid economic development beginning in the 1960s, largely stimulated by robust international trade (particularly exports) and guided by government policies. The core NICs are usually considered to be Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Singapore, but other countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Malaysia, Mexico, and Thailand, are often included in this category.
A system of rule in which power depends not on popular legitimacy but on the coercive force of the political authorities. Hence, there are few personal and group freedoms. It is also characterized by near-absolute power in the executive branch and few, if any, legislative and judicial controls.
A process undertaken in the Soviet Union under Stalin in the late 1920s and early 1930s and in China under Mao in the 1950s, by which agricultural land was removed from private ownership and organized into large state and collective farms.
In a socialist regime, the state plays a leading role in organizing the economy, and most business firms are publicly owned. A socialist regime, unlike a communist party-state, may allow the private sector to play an important role in the economy and be committed to political pluralism. In Marxism-Leninism, socialism refers to an early stage in the development of communism. Socialist regimes can be organized in a democratic manner, in that those who control the state may be chosen according to democratic procedures. They may also be governed in an undemocratic manner when a single party, not chosen in free competitive elections, controls the state and society.
Hundred Flowers Movement
Refers to a period in 1956-1957 when Chinese Communist Party Chairman Mao Zedong encouraged citizens, particularly intellectuals, to speak out and give their views on how to improve China's government. Mao was shocked by the depth of the criticism of communist rule and cracked down by silencing and punishing the critics with the Anti-Rightist Campaign of 1957.
Was launched by Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Chairman Mao Zedong in 1957 in the aftermath of the Hundred Flowers Movement. The Campaign was aimed at critics of the CCP who were labeled as "rightists," that is, counterrevolutionaries. Millions of people were affected and hundreds of thousands sent to labor reform camps. Many were not released until after Mao's death in 1976.
Great Leap Forward
: A movement launched by Mao Zedong in 1958 to industrialize China very rapidly and thereby propel it toward communism. The Leap ended in economic disaster in 1960, causing one of the worst famines in human history.
A system of social organization based on the common ownership and coordination of production. According to Marxism (the theory of German philosopher Karl Marx, 1818-1883), communism is a culminating stage of history, following capitalism and socialism. In historical practice, leaders of China, the Soviet Union, and other states that have proclaimed themselves as seeking to achieve communism, have ruled through a single party, the Communist Party, which has controlled the state and society in an authoritarian manner, and have applied Marxism-Leninism to justify their rule.
Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution
The political campaign launched in 1966 by Chairman Mao Zedong to stop what he saw as China's drift away from socialism and toward capitalism. The campaign led to massive purges in the Chinese Communist Party, the widespread persecution of China's intellectuals, and the destruction of invaluable cultural objects. The Cultural Revolution officially ended in 1976 after Mao's death and the arrest of some of his most radical followers.
A forceful, extra-constitutional action resulting in the removal of an existing government
Career-minded bureaucrats who administer public policy according to a technical rather than a political rationale.
Purchasing Power Parity (PPP)
A method of calculating the value of a country's money based on the actual cost of buying certain goods and services in that country rather than how many U.S. dollars they are worth. PPP is widely considered to be a more accurate indicator of comparing standards of living, particularly in countries at very different levels of economic development.
Refers to the type of economic system practiced by a communist party-state, including the People's Republic of China and the Soviet Union. Under state socialism, the government (or state) owns or controls most economic resources, including land, businesses, farms, factories, and banks.
A form of socialism in which government decisions ("commands") rather than market mechanisms (such as supply and demand) are the major influences in determining the nation's economic direction; also called central planning.
Socialist market economy
The term used by the government of China to refer to the country's current economic system. It is meant to convey the mix of state control (socialism) and market forces (capitalism) that China is now following in its quest for economic development. The implication is that socialism will promote equality, while the market (especially the profit motive) will encourage people to work hard and foreign companies to invest.
Household responsibility system
The system put into practice in China beginning in the early 1980s in which the major decisions about agricultural production are made by individual farm families based on the profit motive rather than by a people's commune or the government
Township and village enterprises (TVEs)
Nonagricultural businesses and factories owned and run by local governments and private entrepreneurs in China's rural areas. TVEs operate largely according to market forces and outside the state plan.
Iron rice bowl
A feature of China's socialist economy that provided guarantees of lifetime employment, income, and basic cradle-to-grave benefits to most urban and rural workers. Economic reforms beginning in the 1980s that aimed at improving efficiency and work motivation sought to smash the iron rice bowl and link employment and income more directly to individual effort.
A Chinese term that means "connections" or "relationships," and describes personal ties between individuals based on such things as common birthplace or mutual acquaintances. Guanxi are an important factor in China's political and economic life
An approach to promoting economic growth that seeks to minimize environmental degradation and depletion of natural resources. Advocates of sustainable development believe that policies implemented in the present must take into account the impact on the ability of future generations to meet their needs and live healthy lives.
A period of time during which the normal procedures of government are suspended and the executive branch enforces the law with military power.
A person who occupies a position of authority in a communist party-state; cadres may or may not be Communist Party members.
A system of personnel selection under which the Communist Party maintained control over the appointment of important officials in all spheres of social, economic, and political life. The term is also used to describe individuals chosen through this system and thus refers more broadly to the privileged circles in the Soviet Union and China.
The term used by the Chinese Communist Party to describe the political system of the People's Republic of China. Also called the people's democratic dictatorship. The official view is that this type of system, under the leadership of the Communist Party, provides democracy for the overwhelming majority of people and suppresses (or exercises dictatorship over) only the enemies of the people. Socialist democracy is contrasted to bourgeois (or capitalist) democracy, which puts power in the hands of the rich and oppresses the poor.
Four Cardinal Principles
Ideas first enunciated by Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping in 1979 asserting that all policies should be judged by whether they uphold the socialist road, the dictatorship of the proletariat, the leadership of the Communist Party, and Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought. The main purpose of the Four Cardinal Principles was to proscribe any challenge to the ultimate authority of the Chinese Communist Party, even during a time of far-reaching economic reform. The Principles have been reaffirmed by Deng's successors and continue to define the boundaries of what is politically permissible in China.
An informal aspect of policy-making in which a powerful patron (for example, a traditional local boss, government agency, or dominant party) offers resources such as land, contracts, protection, or jobs in return for the support and services (such as labor or votes) of lower-status and less powerful clients; corruption, preferential treatment, and inequality are characteristic of clientelist politics.
Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs)
A private group that seeks to influence public policy and deal with certain problems that it believes are not being adequately addressed by governments. Examples include Amnesty International (human rights), Oxfam (famine relief), and Greenpeace (the environment)
A Chinese term that means "household residency permit" and refers to the system in which all citizens of the People's Republic of China must have an official card that allows them to live, work, and receive benefits only in a specific location. The hukou system was used as a means of social control, political surveillance, and internal migration restrictions. The hukou system has not been vigorously enforced since China has moved toward a market economy and the need for labor mobility.
: A Chinese term that means "unit" and is the basic level of social organization and a major means of political control in China's communist party-state. A person's danwei is most often his or her workplace, such as a factory or an office.
Refers to the space occupied by voluntary associations outside the state, for example, professional associations (lawyers, doctors, teachers), trade unions, student and women's groups, religious bodies, and other voluntary association groups. The term is similar to society, although civil society implies a degree of organization absent from the more inclusive term society
A nation-state in which the government carries out policies that effectively promote national economic growth.