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Social Science and Public Policy

Seeking Truth and Hiding Facts: Information, Ideology, and Authoritarianism in China

October 9, 2020 at 12:00pm1:30pm EDT

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Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs

Comparative Politics/International Relations presents

Jeremy Wallace

Associate Professor

Cornell University

Seeking Truth and Hiding Facts: Information, Ideology, and Authoritarianism in China

Jeremy Wallace will present work from his nearly completed book project, Seeking Truth and Hiding Facts. How did a revolutionary Communist party come to justify itself through statistics, and why under Xi Jinping is it shifting away from doing so? The disastrous Cultural Revolution made pragmatic politicians and ideas attractive to a population tired of turmoil amid persistent poverty. Relaxing communist orthodoxy and decentralizing governance unleashed individual initiative. Keeping watch on just a few metrics of critical importance greased the wheels of performance. The system of limited quantified vision gave incentives for local growth and improved livelihoods while allowing local officials to profit. Numbers came to define Chinese politics, until they did not count what mattered and what they counted did not measure up.

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For more information or to request accessibility arrangements, please contact Dan McDowell at dmcdowel@maxwell.syr.edu.

This event was first published on September 17, 2020 and last updated on October 6, 2020.


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