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The Overseas Chinese Democracy Movement
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The Overseas Chinese Democracy Movement

Assessing China’s Only Open Political Opposition

9781784711023 Edward Elgar Publishing
Chen Jie, Political Science and International Relations, The University of Western Australia, Australia
Publication Date: 2019 ISBN: 978 1 78471 102 3 Extent: 240 pp
The overseas Chinese democracy movement (OCDM) is one of the world’s longest-running and most difficult exile political campaigns. This unique book is a rare and comprehensive account of its trajectory since its beginnings in the early 1980s, examining its shifting operational environment and the diversification of its activities, as well as characterizing its distinctive features in comparison to other exile movements.

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Contents
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The overseas Chinese democracy movement (OCDM) is one of the world’s longest-running and most difficult exile political campaigns. This unique book is a rare and comprehensive account of its trajectory since its beginnings in the early 1980s, examining its shifting operational environment and the diversification of its activities, as well as characterizing its distinctive features in comparison to other exile movements.
 
Chen Jie takes an empirical approach to the history of the OCDM, drawing on extensive primary sources and his own significant field research, including interviews with major dissident figures. He explores the changing roles of activists since the events of Tiananmen Square and the movement’s subsequent heyday, highlighting the diverse positions occupied today as a result of internal division and evolving geopolitical circumstances. Using the analytical framework of exile politics, Chen also examines such issues as China’s relationship with Taiwan and the implications of the expanding global Chinese diaspora.
 
Academics and postgraduate students studying Chinese politics and international relations, as well as those with an interest in diaspora studies, will find this book invaluable. It will also provide important understanding of Chinese exiles and activists to government officials and those working in international political foundations, funding bodies and human rights organisations.
Critical Acclaim
‘Chen’s book serves as a seminal, if not pre-eminent reference work on the overseas Chinese democracy movement. It is very much recommended reading for better understanding the domestic and external politics of modern Chinese society and the constantly evolving and diverse nature of the Chinese diaspora.’
– James To, New Zealand International Review

‘This is the best book ever written on the contemporary Overseas Chinese Democratic Movement, presenting an objective analysis of its strength and weaknesses, with a certain amount of empathy. It is very well informed and is a must read for anyone who wants to approach this important subject.’
– Jean-Philippe Béja, The China Quarterly

‘Chen’s work on the Overseas Chinese Democracy Movement makes for an illuminating read. Chen demonstrates that ethnic identity and political allegiance does not – and need not – align, particularly when it comes to the political objectives of exiled dissidents. The book, therefore, serves as an interesting corrective to the constant reassertion of the party lens and puts forward a fresh framework for understanding the (un)democratic future of China.’
– Axel Dessein, International Affairs

‘This outstanding book provides a realistic and balanced assessment of the Overseas Chinese Democracy Movement. The author accesses wide networks of overseas Chinese democracy organisations, offering rare and richly detailed information. The book deserves to be required reading for all courses on Chinese politics, Chinese democratisation, and exile politics.’
– Baogang He, Deakin University, Australia
Contents
Contents: Introduction 1. Take-Off, Expansion and Implosion 2. Deteriorating Operational Environment 3. Struggle under the New Normal Circumstances 4. The Chinese Exile Politics from a Comparative Perspective Conclusion References Index



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