Civilisation-State: Modernising the Past to Civilise the Future in Jiang Zemin’s China
Abstract

This article analyses the largely overlooked role of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in the promotion of “socialist spiritual civilisation” in contemporising the exemplary role of the Chinese state and in informing the state’s efforts to rehabilitate China’s cultural traditions. Drawing material from handbooks, newspaper articles and posters published between 1996 and 2002, it may be argued that the ability of the Party to reclaim the achievement of “civilisation” as an ultimate goal in Chinese history has a direct impact on its continuing pursuit to underwrite its long-term legitimacy. This article departs from existing scholarship to locate the CPC’s civilising discourses within a historical context that predates the apotheosis of the CPC itself and links them to the sacred mission of maintaining the Chinese civilisation-state.


pdf