China’s future and scarcity

Ma, Damien and Adams, William (2013). In line behind a billion people : how scarcity will define China’s ascent in the next decade. Pearson Education, FT Press, 352 p. ISBN: 978-0-13-313389-9.

Within a decade, China will have the world’s largest economy. In this book, two China experts turn the conventional wisdom on its head, showing why China’s economic growth will constrain rather than empower it. Political analyst Damien Ma and global economist William Adams reveal why, having 35 years of ferocious economic growth, China’s future will be shaped by the same fundamental reality that has shaped it for millennia: scarcity. Ma and Adams drill deep into Chinese society, showing all the scarcities that will limit its power and progress. Beyond scarcities of natural resources and public goods, they illuminate China’s persistent poverties of individual freedoms, cultural appeal, and ideological legitimacy — and the corrosive loss of values and beliefs amongst a growing middle class shackled by a parochial and inflexible political system.

Download sample pages (Table of contents, Introduction and Index)

Monique Abud

Centre d'études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine, EHESS, Paris, France

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