Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Is China still socialist? : a Marxist critique of János Kornai's analysis of China
Author: Khoo, Heiko
ISNI:       0000 0004 9357 2672
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2018
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
This thesis investigates if China’s system conforms to János Kornai’s theory of reform socialism. To facilitate this study Kornai’s theory of socialism is outlined in depth and its basic features are compared with evidence drawn from a broad range of multidisciplinary research on contemporary China. I find that the three necessary and sufficient features of socialism that Kornai identifies are all present. I also reveal other similarities between reform socialism and China’s contemporary system. The idea that China is best understood as a variety of capitalism is considered, and I reflect on the dynamics of the state and private sector in modern China. After 1978 an important inspiration for China’s economic reforms was the Soviet New Economic Policy (NEP) introduced under Lenin in 1921. The Soviet economist Evgeny Preobrazensky studied the forces shaping policy during the NEP and elaborated a Marxist method to reveal how the contradictions between socialist and capitalist tendencies vie for dominance over the economy. He views this economic conflict as a type of class struggle, which takes the form of ‘primitive socialist accumulation’ (PSA). The planned development of the economy accumulates from the private sector, and increases the importance of the working class in the economy. The state sector exercises its dominance by exploiting its semi-monopolistic power and undertakes projects of vast scale and ambition. The workforce finds it is able to exert considerable pressure on the ruling Party and bureaucracy. This indicates that the relationship between the working class and the Party and state remains central to the power relations governing Chinese society today.
Supervisor: Callinicos, Alexander Theodore Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available