State Formation in China and Taiwan: Bureaucracy, Campaign, and Performance
(Cambridge University Press, 2019) by Julia C. Strauss
is a comparative study of regime consolidation in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of China (Taiwan) after 1949. It examines the ways in which bureaucratic and campaign modalities were deployed in the regime consolidation of the PRC and the ROC by focusing on three paired case studies: state personnel, terror unleased by the state against domestic enemies, and land reform. Throughout it shows that while there were striking similarities in what
policies the PRC and ROC implemented, how
the polices were conveyed and above all how
they were performed differed radically. Meticulously researched and wonderfully nuanced, it is both a fascinating read and an elegant model for how to do comparative history.
Sarah Bramao-Ramos is a PhD candidate at Harvard University in the History and East Asian Languages program. She is interested in translation, Manchu books, and anything with a kesike.