From 'Politics in Command' to 'Economics in Command': A Discourse Analysis of China's Transformation

  • Li Xing Aalborg University
Keywords: China, Transformation, Discourse


This article proposes a framework for understanding the way the Chinese Revolution emerged, developed and achieved power (1921-49), then further consolidated in the period of socialist 'uninterrupted revolution' (1949-77) and was finally abandoned by the post-Mao regime (1977 to the present). This analysis is based on a perspective of discourse theories framed in historically new forms of political, social and ideological relations. In other words, it attempts to conceptualize the transformation of China and the Chinese Communist Party by analysing the role of ideological discourses (arguments and interpretations) and the cognitive elements (beliefs, goals, desires, expertise, knowledge) as the driving-force behind societal transformations. The discourse theory applied here – logocentrism and econocentrism – also serves both as a political arena of struggle to confer legitimacy on a specific socio-political project and as a distinctive cog ni tive and evaluative framework for understanding societal transformations. The conceptualization of the paper is informed by the work of David Apter and Tony Saich on discourse theory.

Author Biography

Li Xing, Aalborg University
Assistant Professor, Ph.D. Research Center on Development and International Relations (DIR)