China Leadership Monitor

De Tocqueville in Beijing

Monday, October 1, 2012

Even as public attention has been focused on the ouster of Chongqing party chief Bo Xilai and the trial of his wife, Gu Kailai, as well as the upcoming 18th Party Congress, there has been a quiet but interesting discussion going on in Beijing about Alexis de Tocqueville’s classic work, Ancien Regime and the French Revolution, first published in 1856. Although seemingly far from the concerns of the day, the interest in the work in fact captures widespread concern in intellectual circles about the Chinese polity and where it might go from here.