Andrew Walder (Stanford), directeur d’études invité à l’EHESS

Andrew Walder (Professor, Stanford University), directeur d’études invité à l’EHESS par Sebastian Veg (CCJ-CECMC), présentera trois conférences en mai et juin 2018.

Andrew Walder, titulaire de la chaire Denise O’Leary & Kent Thiry au département de sociologie de Stanford, est l’un des meilleurs spécialistes du maoïsme et de la Révolution culturelle. Son livre Communist Neo-Traditionalism: Work and Authority in Chinese Industry (Berkeley, 1986), consacré aux relations sociales dans les « unités de travail » chinoises, a fait date en proposant la notion de « néo-traditionalisme communiste », afin de mettre l’accent sur l’importance des réseaux clientélistes au sein même de l’organisation du travail socialiste. Il a ensuite consacré plusieurs ouvrages et articles importants à la Révolution culturelle et notamment aux conflits entre Gardes rouges (Fractured Rebellion: The Beijing Red Guard Movement, Harvard, 2009). Plus récemment, il a publié un ouvrage synthétique proposant un bilan de l’expérience maoïste (China Under Mao: A Revolution Derailed, Harvard, 2015).

Programme des conférences

  • Mercredi 30 mai 2018 (11h-13h) : séminaire de Sebastian Veg : Historiography of Maoism: new interpretations (EHESS, 54 bd Raspail – 75006 Paris, Salle AS1_23)
    China’s Historical Trajectory: What Difference did the Cultural Revolution Make?
    Contrary to its initiators’ intentions, the Cultural Revolution laid political foundations for a transition to a market-oriented economy, while also creating circumstances that helped ensure the cohesion and survival of China’s Soviet-style party-state. The Cultural Revolution left the Communist Party and civilian state structures weak and in flux, and drastically weakened entrenched bureaucratic interests that might have blocked market reform. The weakening of central government structures created a decentralized planned economy whose regional and local leaders were receptive to initial market-oriented opportunities. The economic and technological backwardness fostered by the Cultural Revolution left little support for maintaining status quo. Mao put Deng Xiaoping in charge of rebuilding the party and economy briefly in the mid-1970s before purging him a second time, inadvertently making him the standard-bearer for post-Mao rebuilding and recovery. Mutual animosities with the Soviet Union provoked by Maoist polemics led to a surprising strategic turn to the United States and other western countries in the early 1970s, which subsequently advanced the agenda of reform and opening. The impact of this legacy becomes especially clear when contrasted with the Soviet Union in the 1980s, where circumstances were very different, and where Gorbachev’s attempts to implement similar changes in the face of entrenched bureaucratic interests led to the collapse and dismemberment of the Soviet state.
  • Vendredi 8 juin 2018 (10h-13h) : séminaire d’Isabelle Thireau : Enquêtes et regards des sociologues chinois sur le monde chinois (EHESS, 54 bd Raspail – 75006 Paris, Salle A07_51)
    Rebellion and Repression in China, 1966-1969: A Macro Perspective
    In the first four years after the onset of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, one of the largest political upheavals of the 20th century paralyzed a highly centralized party state, leading to a harsh regime of military control. Despite a wave of post-Mao revelations in the 1980s, knowledge about the nationwide impact of this insurgency and its suppression remains selective and impressionistic, based primarily on a handful of local accounts. Employing a dataset drawn from historical narratives published in 2,213 county and city annals, this article charts the temporal and geographic spread of a mass insurgency, its evolution through time, and the repression through which militarized state structures were rebuilt. Comparisons of published figures with internal investigation reports, and statistical estimates from sample selection models, yield an estimate of close to 1.6 million deaths and 30 million direct victims of some form of political persecution. The vast majority of casualties were due to repression by authorities, not the actions of insurgents. Despite the large overall death toll, per capita death rates were considerably lower than a range of comparable cases, including the Soviet purges at the height of Stalinist terror in the late 1930s.
  • Lundi 18 juin 2018 (17h -19h) : séminaire central du CERCEC : 1918-2018. Mondes russe, caucasien, centre-asiatique et centre-européen : sources et méthodes. Fronts et frontières d’Empire (EHESS, 105 bd Raspail – 75006 Paris, Salle 2)
    Mao and the Mao Era: A Balance Sheet
    As the Mao era, and in particular the Cultural Revolution fade in memory, its history has fallen out of focus and has been infused with myth. Drawing on his recent book, China Under Mao: A Revolution Derailed (Harvard 2015), Walder will take up two related questions. First, what were Mao’s intentions and what were the actual outcomes of his radical initiatives? Second, why did these outcomes occur? Mao emerges from the historical record as a revolutionary whose radicalism was undiminished by the passage of time. His initiatives frequently had consequences that he had not intended and that frustrated his designs. Despite creating China’s first unified modern national state and initiating its industrialization drive, Mao left China divided, backward, and weak.


  • Sebastian Veg :

Monique Abud

Centre d'études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine, EHESS, Paris, France

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Monique Abud

Centre d'études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine, EHESS, Paris, France

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