Seeking Truth and Hiding Facts: Information, Ideology, and Authoritarianism in China
Friday, October 9, 2020 12:00 PM
Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs
Comparative Politics/International Relations presents
Seeking Truth and
Hiding Facts: Information, Ideology, and Authoritarianism in China
Jeremy Wallace will
present work from his nearly completed book project, Seeking Truth and Hiding
Facts. How did a revolutionary Communist party come to justify itself through
statistics, and why under Xi Jinping is it shifting away from doing so? The
disastrous Cultural Revolution made pragmatic politicians and ideas attractive
to a population tired of turmoil amid persistent poverty. Relaxing communist
orthodoxy and decentralizing governance unleashed individual initiative.
Keeping watch on just a few metrics of critical importance greased the wheels
of performance. The system of limited quantified vision gave incentives for
local growth and improved livelihoods while allowing local officials to profit.
Numbers came to define Chinese politics, until they did not count what mattered
and what they counted did not measure up.
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