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Politics and Society in Contemporary China

Elizabeth Freund Larus
Politics and Society in Contemporary China
ISBN: 978-1-58826-800-6
ISBN: 978-1-58826-825-9
ISBN: 978-1-62637-270-2
2012/491 pages/LC: 2011043123
"An ideal introductory textbook for both scholars and novices.... Larus' book is a unique contribution to the field of Chinese politics as well as social and economic history."—Jay Goulding, Pacific Affairs

"A fine introduction to major topics and issues in the study of China's recent past, present, and possible futures.... The overall organization of this book is intuitive and practical, providing a sound framework around which to organize a course.... Students have much to gain from engaging with both this book and the ideas contained in it."—Charlotte Lee, The China Journal

"An impressive textbook.... It is comprehensive, interprets the evolution of Chinese politics from ancient to current times in an incisive and convincing manner, links the present to the past better than most such books, and (last but not least for a textbook) is quite readable."—Cal Clark, American Journal of Chinese Studies

"This book is highly recommended for advanced undergraduate and introductory graduate courses on contemporary China. It is also well suited as a reference work."—Choice

"Engaging, theoretically sound, and filled with interesting details valuable to students and scholars alike."—Katherine Palmer Kaup, Furman University

"A readable, well-informed, and current text for a course in Chinese politics."—Peter Moody, Notre Dame University


This authoritative text captures the dynamism of Chinese politics and society.

Elizabeth Larus begins with a broad sweep of China's modern history—from the imperial era to the present—providing essential context for understanding the current political environment. She then makes sense of the dramatic political, social, and economic changes that have occurred across some six decades. The result is a rich and detailed analysis that is both thought-provoking and accessible, appropriate for students at all levels.


Elizabeth Freund Larus is professor of political science and international affairs at the University of Mary Washington. She is author of Economic Reform in China, 1979-2003: The Marketization of Labor and State Enterprises.


  • Studying Chinese Politics.
  • The Historical Context.
  • The Mao Years.
  • The Structures of Politics.
  • Political Reform.
  • Social Dynamics.
  • Political Economy.
  • The Rural-Urban Divide.
  • The Military and Defense Policy.
  • Foreign Policy.
  • China's Future.