Handbook on Development and Social Change
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Handbook on Development and Social Change

Edited by G. H. Fagan and Ronaldo Munck

This Handbook provides an accessible critical review of the complex issues surrounding development and social change today. With chapters from recognized experts, examining economic, political and social aspects, and covering key topics and developing regions, it goes beyond current theory and sets out the debates which will shape an approach better suited to the modern world.
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Chapter 14: Tracing the emergence of Sino-capitalism: social change and development in contemporary China

Christopher A. McNally


China provides an incisive example of a society that experimented during the twentieth century with perhaps every major social development model in existence at that time. Contemporary China has seen the most expansive, rapid and sustained industrialization in human history, creating opportunities for massive wealth accumulation. But in the same historical time span, Chinese breakneck growth has created some of the largest socio-economic inequalities on earth, massive environmental degradation, and a cultural no-man’s land of materialism and consumerism in the world’s oldest continuous civilization. Perhaps most intriguingly, China’s experiences have not corresponded to the standard Western prescriptions for economic development based on liberal markets and politics; neither have they adapted the insights of the post-development and post-globalization perspectives to inspire a new course of development. This chapter illuminates the broad development debates through a systematic review of China’s development path(s).

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