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186 China Review International: Vol. 2, No. 1, Spring 1995 Melanie Manion. Retirement ofRevolutionaries in China: Public Policies, Social Norms, Private Interests. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1993. xii, 196 pp. Hardcover $35.00. China's recent rapid economic growth has attracted the attention of the world. A vast number ofnew publications has focused on diis topic. Another main concern , at least to many conscientious observers in the West, is China's human rights record, and several international organizations are keeping close watch on China's behavior in this area. But practically no attention has been paid to die equally enormous question of China's effort to establish a norm for the retirement ofher "civil servants"—until the appearance ofMelanie Manion's study. The main dieme ofthis book is the use of peaceful coercion in the policy process ofthe post-Mao Chinese regime; it explains how the Chinese Communist leaders have implemented a "policy to replace de facto lifelong tenure for cadres with regular age-based retirement." During the ten-year period of the autiior's research (1978-1988), a total of almost five million cadres retired from office, in two different categories: 1.63 million specially retired (those who had joined the Communist movement before 1949), and 3.12 million regularly retired (tìiose who had joined the regime after 1949). Moreover, Chinese policy makers successfully instituted a series ofmeasures during this same period to make the agebased retirement of cadres a social norm. In the first chapter, after defining a norm as "a pattern of action, accompanied by an understanding of die pattern as a social standard ofpropriety," the author reviews the literature for general theories on how norms come into existence , and how leaders can construct norms through public policies. She suggests that China's policy makers, in creating the norm for cadre retirement, selected five mechanisms ofnorm building: association, argument, exemplary rules, exemplary conformers, and metanorms. Chapter 2, "Politics and Policy," is a key chapter that discusses die post-Cultural Revolution political environment, in which the policy of age-based retirement was formulated and implemented. The early years (1978-1982) were the most crucial because the decision to retire cadres was reached by the leadership at the same time that the policy to rehabilitate and reemploy those cadres who were victimized during the Cultural Revolution was still in force. If the two policies were not fundamentally contradictory, the latter policy worked at least to under-© 1995 by University mme the former. However, the Chinese leadership justified the coexistence ofthe of awat ? ress^0 pQijcjes ^y emphasizing the need for the reemployed veteran cadres to perform a new role during the transition period, which was to transmit revolutionary traditions and to help lead younger generations of cadres. In 1980, the scales Reviews 187 shifted in favor ofretirement when the Party Central Committee resolved to abolish de facto lifelong tenure for cadres. To resolve the leadership's internal disagreement on the question ofthe urgency ofretiring old cadres, a compromise was reached essentially to exempt the few dozen top leaders from the retirement policy. The exemption was justified on the basis of tiieir "international reputation" and die need for their guidance in die long-term planning of state policies. To ensure the smooth implementation of the retirement policy, a threetiered division ofcadres was made: at die top were the revolutionary cadres (who had joined the CCP before 1949) in leadership positions in central and regional governments; the second tier were the ordinary revolutionary cadres; and die third tier were the postrevolutionary cadres (who had joined die regime after 1949). The retiring cadres in the first category were accorded special treatment, which included full pension and a number ofprivileges. A further distinction in the first group was between those veterans who had joined the Communists before the end ofthe anti-Japanese war in 1945, and die larger group ofcadres who had joined the Communist side during the civil war period (1945-1949). The former were entitled to receive higher status and rewards by retiring to the "second line," meaning to advisory or honorary positions iftheir health allowed them to perform such functions. They also received annual bonuses equivalent to...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-9367
Print ISSN
1069-5834
Pages
pp. 186-188
Launched on MUSE
2011-03-30
Open Access
No
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