The essays in this volume address the industrial, commercial, urban and regional reforms of China's planned economy during the 1980s. The emphasis is on the dominating institutional and bureaucratic presence of the state even as it sought to loosen the pre-1979 vertically structured centralised command system and to introduce some market principles to stimulate economic activity. The essays fall into four categories: theoretical and policy discussions and debates at the central leadership level; reform of the urban economy and of inter-regional relations; industrial and commercial reforms; and the rise and position of the new entrepreneurial class. Many of the essays draw on interviews with Chinese economic officials in the Central China city of Wuhan and therefore this is the only study that uses local data on actual operations of reforms from a Chinese city; the other sources are the Chinese press and Chinese official and scholarly journals. In each of the categories there are pieces from different points in the chronological process of reform. This study begins with the first theoretical discussions among China's economists and top political leaders in the late 1970s and concludes with experiments with bankruptcy and stock markets in the late 1980s. The countervailing heavy presence of the state at both the policy and the practical levels throughout the reform decade is its unifying theme.
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A collection of articles and symposia on controversial social issues, which include: affirmative action; the permanence of racism thesis; the use and utility of racial/ethnic categories; multiculturalism; immigration; the underclass debate; and democracy/equality.