Frank Dikötter on the History of China After Mao


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This is a party absolutely determined to maintain a monopoly of power and absolutely determined to crush any attempt by any group to suggest that there ought to be anything like separation of powers. No labor unions. No civil society. No freedom of press. No judicial independence. The mere suggestion of it seems to be so offensive that people end up in jail and that’s a constant theme that runs throughout this entire period.

Frank Dikötter
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A full transcript is available at

Frank Dikötter is the author of three books about China under Mao called the People’s Trilogy. He is currently the Chair Professor of Humanities at the University of Hong Kong. His latest book is China After Mao: The Rise of a Superpower.
Key Highlights

  • Introduction - 0:52
  • Life in China After Mao - 3:06
  • How much did China Reform After Mao - 13:20
  • What do the Chinese People Want from Reform - 25:38
  • Is Political Reform Necessary for Deeper Economic Reforms - 29:33
  • Why is China's Reform Overstated - 36:18

Key Links
Learn more about Frank Dikötter at Wikipedia
The People's Trilogy by Frank Dikötter
Democracy Paradox Podcast
Sarah Cook on China’s Expanding Global Media Influence
Steven Levitsky and Lucan Way on the Durable Authoritarianism of Revolutionary Regimes
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