The far-reaching institutional change and societal transformation occurring in former state-socialist societies have attracted new social science interest in transition economies. This chapter reviews recent research on China, highlighting the theoretical arguments and findings of general interest to social scientists. The paper argues that a paradigm shift is taking place within research on China, from state-centered analysis to a theoretical approach that locates causal forces within a macrosocietal framework. Within a macrosocietal framework, state socialism is viewed as a distinctive institutional arrangement in which society, economy, and the state are integrated through society-wide redistributive arrangements. Forces in economic and political change emanate not only from political actors but from economic and social actors as well. The chapter reviews work in which a macrosocietal approach is used to address stratification, societal transformation, and marketization in reforming Chinese state socialism.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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