Arien Mack, Editor
In January 1987 the latest eruption of China's cyclical repression of "bourgeois liberalization" dealt a new setback to the comparative study of socialism-one of the most promising areas of scholarly advancement in the social sciences. Exactly three years earlier the chilly winds of winter had fanned the campaign against "spiritual pollution," and three years prior to that the campaign against the playwright Bai Hua had widened into a general warning to the creative intelligentsia.
In 1980 the first delegation of social scientists from the People's Republic of China (PRC) visited the United States. The delegation's members asked the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Social Science Research Council to brief them about developments in social science in the United States, as part of their effort to revive sociological research in China after the long lull following liberation.
Explores the relationship between political movements and symbolic or ideological capital, using Mao Zedong's Yan'an movement (the Chinese Communist revolution) as an example of how symbolic capital can be used to win political power.
Uses Communist-era Chinese scholarship of the Taiping Rebellion to demonstrate the effects of the prevailing political background and orientation on research and teaching. The strong government influence on historians' work also manifests itself as a "lack of clarity about the relation of ideas to society at other times.
Describes the evolution and present state of anthropology in Communist China. Southern anthropologists adhere to the US-inspired "four-fields" conception of the discipline, while elsewhere ethnologists, physical anthropologists, archaeologists, and linguists consider their work separate and unrelated.
Reviews the Nuremberg trials of war criminals after World War II, assessing the success of the prosecutors in developing standards of accountability for bureaucratic crime and the criminal state. The essential lawlessness of Weimar Germany led to the Nazi ascension to power and the trials failed to recognize and penalize the basic illegality of Nazi Germany.