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Goodman, David Stephen Gordon (1981) Central-provincial relationships in the People's Republic of China: Sichuan and Guizhou, 1955-1965. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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This thesis considers the relationship between centre and province in the People's Republic of China during the decade before the Cultural Revolution. Previous accounts of that relationship have provided different assessments of the impact of the decentralization measures introduced in 1957/8 on provincial autonomy. Here it is suggested that each of those accounts is to some extent unconvincing. There seems no reason to assume a priori that there is a necessary conflictual or servile relationship between centre and province, or that there is only one such relationship. There may be common characteristics of individual provinces relationship with the centre, but there may also be differences, and it is the determinants of those similarities and differences which need to be identified. This thesis concentrates on a province's relative autonomy and the behaviour of its formal political leadership in the relationship between centre and province. Of particular importance, it employs a provincial perspective on that relationship, rather than the national view provided in previous accounts, Sichuan and Guizhou have been chosen for a comparative case study. To a large extent the framework for discussion has been built around the points of difference between the previous accounts of the relationship between centre and province. An examination of two southwestern provinces during a decade must necessarily be limited in its conclusions. However, it is suggested that Sichuan and Guizhou do in fact represent different relationships with the centre. The former, wealthier and more politically integrated, had more relative autonomy and was less influenced by the immediate environment, than the latter. Moreover, it is suggested that in the southwest at least, 1957/8 was followed by the regionalization of politics.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 14:59

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