Despite many predictions of collapse and disintegration, China has managed to sustain unity and gain international stature since the Tiananmen crisis of 1989. Originally published in 2004, this volume addresses the 'fragmentation/disintegration thesis' and examines the sources and dynamics of China's resilience. Through theoretically informed empirical studies, the volume's authors look at key institutions for political integration and economic governance. They also dissect how difficult policies to regulate economic and social life (employment and migration, population planning, industrial adjustment, and regional disparities) are designed and implemented. The authors show that China's leaders have retained authoritarian political institutions, but have also reinforced and modified them, constructing fresh ones in the light of changing circumstances. Institutional and policy adaptations together have helped shore up political authority and create an environment for rapid growth, while accommodating growing diversity.
Review of the hardback: 'Holding China together is an important account of how the Chinese state has reconstituted itself ... The chapters of this volume are all of high quality. Naughton and Yang have captured an important trend in the development of China's political economy. This text provides a timely reminder that while everyone recognizes that China's economy is undergoing rapid change, there is more change in the political system than meets the eye.' International Affairs
Review of the hardback: 'This book is an excellent collection of essays that makes a major contribution to our understanding of contemporary China. ... This is a first-class volume which makes an important contribution to Chinese Studies and to broader political science debates on state capacity. Many chapters will be used in courses on Chinese politics and scholars researching issues of state capacity will inevitably have to refer both to this book's overall conclusions and to the individual case studies.' The China Quarterly