Manoranjan Mohanty - Book Talk: "China’s Transformation: The Success Story and the Success Trap"

Apr 9 4:00–5:30pm
K262, CGIS Knafel, 1737 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA

Manoranjan Mohanty (Distinguished Professor, Council for Social Development, New Delhi; Honorary Fellow, Institute of Chinese Studies; Former Professor of Political Science, University of Delhi)
Chair: Elizabeth Perry (Henry Rosovsky Professor of Government, Harvard University; Director, Harvard-Yenching Institute)

Co-sponsored with the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies

The book provides insights into the economic and social transformation that China has undergone from 1979 to the present. Based on the author’s research in China for over three decades, China’s Transformation: The Success Story and the Success Trap shows how its ‘reform and open door’ policy evolved and helped achieve tremendous economic success. However, it also generated serious social and environmental problems. The book presents that the consequences of this success story of growth are so strong that it has been difficult for China to change its main development path to achieve a desirable level of equity and sustainability. The author describes this as the ‘success trap’ that China is currently grappling with. The author argues that China’s reform path is grounded in the premises of the European Industrial Revolution backed by strong sociopolitical forces at home, indicating that a major change in the development path is unlikely. However, all indications point to a strong and prosperous China as a rising world power in the coming decades, trying to cope with the sociopolitical problems in its own way.

About the speaker: Manoranjan Mohanty is a renowned political scientist and China scholar whose writings have focused on theoretical and empirical dimensions of social movements, human rights, the development experience and the regional role of India and China. As Vice-President of the Council for Social Development (CSD) and Editor of CSD’s social science journal Social Change, published by SAGE, he brings a wealth of experience from both policy and practice perspectives. He is also Chairperson, Development Research Institute, Bhubaneswar, and Honorary Fellow, Institute of Chinese Studies (ICS), Delhi. Until 2004, he was Director, Developing Countries Research Centre, and Professor of Political Science at University of Delhi where he taught until his retirement. Former Chairperson and Director of ICS and former Editor of China Report, he has been on visiting assignments in several universities and research institutes in India and abroad including University of California, Berkeley; Institute of Far Eastern Studies, Moscow, Oxford, Beijing, Copenhagen, Lagos; University of California, Santa Barbara; and the New School, New York. Professor Mohanty has been a part of the founding and evolution of ICS, the Developing Countries Research Centre at University of Delhi and Gabeshana Chakra and Development Research Institute in Odisha. He has also been closely involved with the People’s Union for Democratic Rights, Delhi, and the Pakistan–India People’s Forum for Democracy since their inception. He was part of the founding process of the Boao Forum for Asia in China and REGGEN, the Third-World sustainable development network in Brazil. His other contributions include ‘China’s Reforms: The Wuxi Story’ in China after 1978: Craters in the Moon (2010), Ideology Matters: China from Mao Zedong to Xi Jinping (2014), ‘Political Discourse on Public Sector Reforms in India and China’ in Public Sector Reforms in China (2014) and ‘India, China and the Emerging Process of Building a Just World’ in Building a Just World: Essays in Honour of Muchkund Dubey (2015).