'Of the recent books on India and China, this is the best' Krishnan Srinivasan, former Indian Foreign Secretary, Statesman
'A good choice for anyone looking to read only one book on the subject. It is clear, concise and backed by a lot of interesting recent history. Jha does away with a number of standard platitudes about Chinese and Indian growth.' China Economic Review
The purpose of this book is to pour some much needed cold water on the idea that India and China are in a race against each other to dominate, or at least set the agenda for, development in the middle and later part of the twenty-first century.
This race is being ‘talked up’ by the international media, which is feeding upon the boastful self-confidence of a newly invigorated entrepreneurial class in India and on the growing irritation with the Indian upstart in the Chinese leadership. To say that the two countries will dominate the global economy half a century hence if they stay on their present trajectories of growth is a truism. To take it for granted that they will succeed in doing so is naive, to say the least. Both countries are in the early stages of transformation from pre-capitalist to capitalist societies and this transition is, by its very nature, turbulent, often violent.
The transition does not involve changes only in economic relations, but a thorough restructuring of political and social relations. The totality of these changes creates Capitalism’s "container". The creation of a new container requires the destruction of the old. It therefore sunders old relationships and creates new ones; closes old avenues of progress and opens new ones. It creates new winners and new losers by the hundreds of thousands. The faster the rate of economic change the less time it gives to existing social institutions to adapt. The greater therefore is the propensity for violent change. It is not by accident that the twentieth century has proved to be the most violent and dehumanised century in which it has been Man’s misfortune to live.
This book examines the interaction of economic with political and social change in China and India as they have progressed down the road to capitalism. It examines the social and political conflicts that the market has unleashed, and the success of the countries in containing it.
Soft Skull/Counterpoint USA & UK - sold by Turnaround in the UK
Neri Pozza Italy
Wenhui Press China
Material: PDF of US edition (405pp).
‘In the early days of the twenty-first century it is difficult to remember the optimism, not to say triumphalism, that followed the collapse of communism in the rich countries of the North. Where is Fukuyama’s ‘end of history’? Today even the politicians and ideologues of that region heavily qualify their forecasts of a peaceful and liberal future for a world which seems in obvious crisis. Yet the test of a book about the current situation of the globe is not whether it is hopeful or disenchanted, but whether it helps us understand it. Prem Shankar Jha’s strikingly intelligent, lucid and troubled book passes this test with flying colours. It is essential reading for the first decade of the third millennium.’ Eric Hobsbawm
‘A thoughtful, well-documented, and passionately argued account. It should be read by anyone who cares about the future of world society.’ Giovanni Arrighi
Pluto Press UK
Chicago University Press USA
Neri Pozza Bloom Italy
Material: finished copies (373pp).