In this book David Bachman examines the origins of the Great Leap
Forward (GLF), a programme of economic reform that must be
considered one of the great tragedies of Communist China, estimated
to have caused the death of between 14 and 28 million Chinese.
While standard accounts interpret the GLF as chiefly the brainchild
of Mao Zedong and as a radical rejection of a set of more moderate
reform proposals put forward in the period 1956 to 1957, Bachman
proposes a provocative reinterpretation of the origins of the GLF
that stresses the role of the bureaucracy. Using a
neo-institutionalist approach to analyse economic policy-making
leading up to the GLF, he argues that the GLF must be seen as the
produce of an institutional process of policy-making. This book
offers a reinterpretation of one of the most important episodes in
the history of the People's Republic as well as a framework with
which to analyse the role of institutions more generally in the
political economy of the PRC.
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