'A sober, readable and much-needed corrective to the idea, promoted with great enthusiasm and increasing success by the ruling communist party, that western notions of democracy are alien to China's political traditions and culture. But 'Ballot Box China' is not starry-eyed either, placing the issue of democracy firmly in the context of China's own internal debate about political reform.' --Richard McGregor, author of 'The Party: The Secret Life of China's Communist Leaders
'This remarkably clear-eyed primer examines the state of democracy in China from the ground up, in all its complexity. From pen-portraits of local activists to insiders analyses, Ballet Box China offers one of the best explanations of how the world s newest superpower is governed.' --Louisa Lim, NPR Beijing Correspondent
'Democracy', Kerry Brown tells us, 'best makes sense as part of a host of social forces which are now [...] recreating the contract between the Party and society.' Getting a clear picture of it is a challenge, the key to which is to maintain critical balance. To the basic virtues of balance and objectivity, Brown adds a merciful freedom from jargon and the academic obscurantism. The extension of genuine electoral competition for public office in China has rarely been treated so clearly and readably, making this book a tempting choice for university reading lists.' --David Kelly, Professor of China Studies, China Research Centre, University of Technology Sydney; co-author of Chinese Marxism in the Post-Mao Era
About the Author
Kerry Brown is Senior Fellow on the Asia Programme at Chatham House, London, and Research Associate at the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy, the School of Oriental and African Studies, London. He is author of The Purge of the Inner Mongolian People's Party (2006), Struggling Giant: China in the 21st Century (2007), The Rise of the Dragon (2008) and Friends and Enemies: The Past, Present and Future of the Communist Party of China (2009). His book China 2020 is forthcoming. He is currently working on a political biography of Hu Jintao.