Party Hegemony and Entrepreneurial Power in China : Institutional Change in the Film and Music Industries book cover
1st Edition

Party Hegemony and Entrepreneurial Power in China
Institutional Change in the Film and Music Industries

ISBN 9781138482579
Published February 5, 2018 by Routledge
284 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Economic liberalisation processes and the rapid development of the private sector are widely visible signs of over thirty years of reform policies in the People’s Republic of China. Nevertheless, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has managed to preserve the basic political institutions of the Leninist Party-state, including its own unrestrained position of political power. Against this background, this book investigates the interrelationship between processes of marketisation and commercialisation, and the stability of the CCP regime.

The aim of the book is to complement existing literature on adaptive governance in China and on the reasons for the CCP regime’s relative stability, while providing new information about the relationship between the Chinese party-state and private entrepreneurs. Taking case studies from the film and music industries, the book gives a detailed account of the political and economic history of these industries in China, with special attention given to the role played by private production companies as intermediaries between artistic creation, political and ideological constraints, and the market. A historical institutionalist approach is employed to trace the effect of Chinese policies on popular culture and the institutions of administrative, economic, political and ideological control over the film and music industries back to the 1950s, revealing the mechanisms and prospects of CCP hegemony in the cultural sector.

Examining the effects of the marketisation and commercialisation processes on the communist regime and vice versa, this book also offers a fresh perspective on the origins of today’s Chinese popular cultural mainstream. It will therefore be of great interest to students and scholars of Chinese politics, Chinese culture and media and Chinese government-business relations.

Table of Contents

Introduction Part I Chinese cultural policy

    1. Cultural policy in Republican China
    2. Towards mass culture under Mao Zedong
    3. Beyond propaganda in Reform China
    4. Chinese cultural industries
    5. Part II Economic and administrative institutions of control

    6. Nationalisation and the installation of CCP control
    7. The emergence of private production companies
    8. Towards commercialisation with constrained private participation
    9. Piracy and the emerging copyright regime
    10. Part III The censorship and propaganda systems

    11. Formation of modern political censorship and propaganda
    12. Erosion of political-ideological control in the 1980s and 1990s
    13. Institutional renovation with private producers’ participation
    14. Mass media control
    15. Part IV Private film and music production companies as agents of change

    16. Group formation
    17. Business associations and collective lobbying
    18. Individual coping strategies, individual lobbying and political embeddedness


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Elena Meyer-Clement is a research fellow at the German research network "Governance in China" and teaches Chinese politics and society at the University of Tübingen, Germany. Her research focuses on Chinese cultural politics, the private sector, local governance and urbanisation.


"This is an extraordinary, exciting and excellent book (…). It addresses one of the core concerns of developing economies in transition: the relations between regime stability and the institutional changes caused by marketization and commercialization." – Weijing Le, ASIEN 2016