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2 - Neoconservatism and Doing Things with -Isms

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 June 2019

Els van Dongen
Affiliation:
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
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Summary

Chapter 2 discusses the political theory of neo-conservatism in relation to its perceived counterpart of radicalism during the 1989–91 transitional period. The chapter compares use of the theory as a “label” for two main “banners,” or advocacies, of the theory. The first advocacy is that of neo-conservatism by the political theorist and historian Xiao Gongqin. The second advocacy is a 1991 policy document entitled Realistic Responses and Strategic Options after the Soviet Upheaval, which has been connected to the ideas of a group of “princelings,” or the offspring of highly-placed officials with vast networks in the CCP, government, or business, in response to the failed Soviet coup of August 1991. The chapter argues that these advocacies were linked in their rejection of radicalism and in their resort to non-Marxist theories of legitimation. However, Xiao Gongqin’s theory of neo-conservatism was coined in relation to problems of modernization and the Tiananmen demonstrations, whereas the document Realistic Responses was drafted in response to the Soviet coup of 1991 and the crisis of socialism. Furthermore, only Xiao’s theory of neo-conservatism can be considered the continuation of the theory of neo-authoritarianism, and more specifically, of the version of the so-called Southern School.
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Chapter
Information
Realistic Revolution
Contesting Chinese History, Culture, and Politics after 1989
, pp. 34 - 66
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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