Cover: Democracy is a Good Thing

Democracy is a Good Thing

Essays on Politics, Society, and Culture in Contemporary China

“Democracy is a good thing. This is true not only for individuals or certain officials but also for the entire nation and for all the people of China.”–Yu Keping

So begins Democracy is a Good Thing, an essay of great influence that has commanded attention and provoked discussion throughout the world. It is the touchstone of this important volume of the same name. As one of China’s foremost political thinkers and a leading proponent of democratizing the People’s Republic, Yu Keping is a major figure not only in his native land, but also in the international community. This book brings together much of his most important work and makes it readily accessible to readers in the West for the first time.

Democracy is a Good Thing created a stir internationally. Perhaps more important, however, is the heated debate it spurred within China on the desirability of democratic reform. That important essay appears here, along with several of Yu Keping’s other influential works on politics, culture, and civil society. His topics include China’s economic modernization, its institutional environment, and the cultural changes that have accompanied the nation’s reforms.

Democracy is a Good Thing pulls back the curtain to reveal ongoing discourse in Chinese political and intellectual circles, discussions that will go a long way toward determining the future of the world’s most populous nation.