Review: The Study of Chinese Politics: Toward a Third Generation of Scholarship
Research on contemporary Chinese politics can be divided into two distinct generations since its initiation in the early 1960s. The first, produced before the Cultural Revolution, was characterized by general description rather than systematic comparison or sophisticated conceptualization. The second generation, which appeared in the late 1960s and early 1970s, assigned greater attention to describing the variation of Chinese politics over space and time, identifying the informal norms and mechanisms by which Chinese politics operates, and developing general theories of the Chinese political process. In a third generation, which is just now beginning to emerge, w should see efforts to absorb the new sources of information now available about China; to sort, test, and amalgamate the competing models produced by the second generation; to integrate the analysis of Chinese politics with the rest of comparative politics; and to study Chinese politics in an interdisciplinary fashion.