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Shaken AuthorityChina's Communist Party and the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake$
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Christian P. Sorace

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781501707537

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501707537.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Shaken Authority

Christian P. Sorace

Cornell University Press

This book investigates the political mechanisms at work in the shadow of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake and the broader ideological energies that drove these mechanisms. It proposes an interpretive approach that takes Chinese Communist Party ideas and discourse as being central to how the party formulates policies, defines legitimacy, and wields its power. The basis for this claim is that Party discourse permeates, conditions, and filters each aspect of Chinese politics. China's economic reform has been viewed as the product of naturalized historical forces with no ideological dimension, resulting in a tendency to treat Communist Party ideology as a mere formality and window dressing. The book argues that China's economic reform is a profoundly ideological undertaking that builds on and transforms the legacy of Mao Zedong. This introduction explains the research methods used for the book and provides an overview of the chapters that follow.

Keywords:   economic reform, Sichuan earthquake, Chinese Communist Party, discourse, legitimacy, power, Chinese politics, China, ideology, Mao Zedong

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