Economic Development and Political Liberalisation: An Inevitable Relationship? The Case of China

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dc.contributor.advisor Williams, Mike
dc.contributor.author Mouskou, Maria
dc.date.accessioned 2008-01-08T16:07:21Z
dc.date.available 2008-01-08T16:07:21Z
dc.date.issued 2006
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2160/408
dc.description.abstract In this thesis I look at modernization theory and the relationship between economic development and political liberalization. I focus my analysis on China and I investigate a recent argument that seeks to explain why China's economic development has yet to lead to democratization. This argument asserts that authoritarian regimes are able to suppress political opposition while promoting growth by controlling "coordination goods." However when I investigated the control of Chinese Internet, I discovered that despite the Chinese Internet system being porous, Internet users maintain a sense of self-censorship and do not bypass the government established limits. By looking at Internet users' demographics and their social environment I demonstrate the analysis suffers from deterministic rationalization and a tendency to explain rather than understand. Embedded in a structural explanation of political change, these types of analyses assume the identity and thus the behaviour of people. Even though they claim to explain the weakened link between economic and political liberalisation, they bring with them the fundamental assumptions of modernization, which amplifies the role of economic development at the expense of human action. At the end, their explanation only serves to strengthen the modernization theory as it only tries to give excuses to the delayed development of a democratic political system as stipulated by the deterministic character of modernization. As a result, instead of seeking to understand the underlying forces in play they only explain why X has not yet led to Y without contemplating the possibility of X leading Z and not Y. By exposing the blind spots of these analyses and exemplify their rigidity, I suggest that it is time to break away from conventional wisdom and start looking at other possibilities. en
dc.format.extent 386573 bytes
dc.format.extent 212480 bytes
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.format.mimetype application/msword
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher University of Wales Aberystwyth en
dc.title Economic Development and Political Liberalisation: An Inevitable Relationship? The Case of China en
dc.type Text en
dc.publisher.department International Politics en
dc.type.qualificationlevel taught masters en
dc.type.qualificationname MSc Econ en
dc.type.publicationtype thesis or dissertation


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