Chapter

Introduction

Dingxin Zhao

in The Power of Tiananmen

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print April 2001 | ISBN: 9780226982601
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226982625 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226982625.003.0001
Introduction

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On the morning of April 22, 1989, seven days after the emergence of the 1989 Beijing Student Movement, a state funeral was held for Hu Yaobang inside the Great Hall of the People. The previous night, about 50,000 students had gone to Tiananmen Square, just outside the Great Hall of the People, in order to be part of that funeral. The 1989 Beijing Student Movement has three major characteristics: frequent government policy changes back and forth from concession to repression, quick and successful participant mobilizations, and the dominance of traditional forms of language and action during the movement. This book argues that the rise and development of the 1989 Beijing Student Movement can be explained in terms of state-society relations in China, understood in three impure dimensions: in terms of the nature of the state, of the nature of society, and of the economic, political, and ideational linkages between the state and society. It examines the role of intellectual elites in the 1989 Movement, economic reform in China, state legitimacy, and public opinion about the Movement.

Keywords: 1989 Beijing Student Movement; China; Tiananmen Square; government policy; repression; state-society relations; intellectual elites; economic reform; state legitimacy; public opinion

Chapter.  15303 words. 

Subjects: Sociology

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