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The Gulag: Life Inside

by Bradley Bauervia Hoover Digest
Sunday, January 30, 2005

The Hoover Institution Archives houses an extensive collection of material on the Soviet Gulag. The diaries, letters, faded photographs, and prison records offer remarkable insight into life in the prison camps. By Brad Bauer.

Party Affairs

With Hu in Charge, Jiang's at Ease

by Alice L. Millervia China Leadership Monitor
Sunday, January 30, 2005

Jiang Zemin's replacement by Hu Jintao as China's highest military leader at a major party meeting in September 2004 completes the process of top leadership succession begun two years earlier. Hu's orderly succession to Jiang—first as the top party leader, then as PRC president, and now as China's commander in chief—stands as the only instance of a successfully planned retirement of a top leader in favor of a younger designated successor in the history of a major communist country. It also provokes fundamental questions about how the top leadership level of China's political process works today.

The Gulag: Lest We Forget

by Anne Applebaumvia Hoover Digest
Sunday, January 30, 2005

The more we are able to understand how various societies have transformed their neighbors and fellow citizens from people into objects, and the more we know of the specific circumstances that led to each episode of mass torture and mass murder, the better we will understand the darker side of our own human nature. By Anne Applebaum.

Economic Policy

Economic Policy in 2004: Slipping behind the Curve?

by Barry Naughtonvia China Leadership Monitor
Sunday, January 30, 2005

When the Hu-Wen administration took power in spring 2003, it promised an ambitious two-stage program of administrative restructuring followed by decisive reform policies. While the first part of this program has been realized, the second has not. It would have been reasonable to expect a significant acceleration of economic reform and institutionalization during 2004. Instead, a general trend of slow and sometimes disjointed policymaking has emerged. This phenomenon is evident in the three most important areas of financial and macroeconomic policy: restructuring of the banking system, reform of the stock market, and the conduct of macroeconomic policy itself. In none of these three areas has decisive action been forthcoming, as policymakers have instead focused on redistributive policies, such as those affecting agriculture and regional development, a pattern of policymaking that presents numerous challenges and dangers.

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One Hundred Years Ago in Russia

by Arnold Beichmanvia Hoover Digest
Sunday, January 30, 2005

The first Russian revolution. By Arnold Beichman.

Entrepreneurship and Democracy

by Pitch Johnsonvia Hoover Digest
Sunday, January 30, 2005

Entrepreneurs as the revolutionaries of our time. By Pitch Johnson.

Political Reform

CCP Launches Campaign to Maintain the Advanced Nature of Party Members

by Joseph Fewsmithvia China Leadership Monitor
Sunday, January 30, 2005

The Chinese Communist Party has launched a campaign to "maintain the advanced nature of Chinese Communist Party members." Although it may seem anachronistic to carry out an old-style rectification campaign in the early 21st century, the campaign is just one part of a much broader effort to strengthen the "governing capacity" of the party—the primary theme of the Fourth Plenary Session of the 16th Central Committee in September 2004. Party members are cynical about campaigns such as the one just begun, but campaigns nevertheless can give the party center new information about lower-level party cadres and provide a basis for reshuffling careers.

The Provinces

New Provincial Chiefs: Hu's Groundwork for the 17th Party Congress

by Cheng Livia China Leadership Monitor
Sunday, January 30, 2005

Understanding the kinds of leaders Hu Jintao currently promotes reveals the political and policy objectives he will most likely pursue in the future. Throughout 2004, especially after Hu consolidated his power at the Fourth Plenum of the 16th Central Committee in September, China's provincial leadership underwent a major reshuffling. Most of the newly appointed provincial leaders advanced their political careers primarily through the Chinese Communist Youth League (CCYL), received postgraduate education (usually in economics and management), and were leaders in less developed inland provinces. Their recent promotions are attributable not only to their political ties with Hu, but also to the fact that they share Hu's populist vision for China's development. Some of these provincial chiefs will be Hu's nominees for Politburo seats at the next party congress, as well as part of Hu's team to carry out political reform and socioeconomic policies in line with his perceived mandate.

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Reagan, Tearing Down That Wall

by Dinesh D’Souzavia Hoover Digest
Sunday, January 30, 2005

Remembering the man who, in Margaret Thatcher's words, "won the Cold War ... without firing a shot." By Dinesh D'Souza.

The Battle's Half Won

by Milton Friedmanvia Hoover Digest
Sunday, January 30, 2005

We have succeeded in stalling socialism. Can the Bush administration reverse it? By Milton Friedman.


Military History Working Group

The Working Group on the Role of Military History in Contemporary Conflict examines how knowledge of past military operations can influence contemporary public policy decisions concerning current conflicts.