“We Want What Everybody Else in an Advanced Society Seems to Have”: Why Chinese Democracy Is Inevitable
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With the recent pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, here is one of the most intriguing questions of our time – what is China’s political destiny? For some, the answer seems self-evident: world domination. Martin Jacques and many other China watchers say it is not “if” but “when China rules the world”. But the burning question is, how will China rule itself? How will it survive as a stable and centralized state through its economic and global make-over as a superpower? What will the political future of this vast and rapidly evolving nation look like? Will China have a democracy? Perhaps the answers to these questions can be found in another time and place – in Britain during the so-called long eighteenth century (1688–1832) – where we can see parallels between the forces that helped transform Britain into the global superpower of the nineteenth century and those that underpin China’s modern-day transformation. This article argues that these forces will set China on the path to democracy in the same way they helped change the political dimensions of Britain.
New Global Studies
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