Cover: A Biographical Approach to Chinese Political Analysis

A Biographical Approach to Chinese Political Analysis

Published 1975

by George C. S. Sung

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Provides a novel methodological basis for a computer-assisted biographic analysis of Chinese leadership. The major analytical tasks undertaken are: (1) to identify salient background variables that affect elite group relationships, (2) to trace the changes in the distribution of power among these elite groups, (3) to attempt to explain these changes in terms of contemporaneous political events, and (4) to explore the validity and predictive value of the methodology. The study has attempted to develop alternative ways of identifying and explaining personnel mobility in the hope that the resulting patterns will help us understand better how China might move from where it is now to where it may be in the future. A major, though still tentative, conclusion of the study is that changes in personnel assignments can indeed be taken as indicators of political turning points and of changes in power relationships at the core. While all the manipulations of the elite data are done by computer, the program and the computer work have been deliberately designed to be analysis-intensive rather than machine-intensive, so that the manipulations would yield a maximum of substantive insight.

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