China’s local elites: The political economy of transition

David S.G. Goodman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book or Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The contributions to this volume clearly demonstrate the extent to which local-level agencies and structures are central to an understanding of China’s economic and political dynamics. The change in development strategy that came four decades ago validated local economic and political spaces, and the roles of local elites in those processes, both on the ground and in the scholarly community’s understanding of those processes. Neither of these is to be underestimated. In the 1950s to be accused of being localist could have severe consequences for the political elite (Teiwes 1966); now localism is a necessary tool for economic development (Goodman 2002). Greater access to China in all kinds of ways has meant that the view of a homogenous society has been replaced by an understanding of an inherent internal diversity. In China Studies it is really no longer acceptable to argue that a case study is based on a typical locality: contextualisation is everything (Perry 1994).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLocal Elites in Post-Mao China
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781351117012
ISBN (Print)9780815361169
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


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