Public Release: 

Society in carnival China: The beautiful, the damned and the Olympics

World Scientific


IMAGE: This is the cover for Carnival China. view more

Credit: World Scientific Publishing

A new book by Kerry Brown (University of Sydney, Australia), Executive Director of the China Studies Centre and Professor of Chinese Politics, attempts to make sense of the cultural political and economics, and dynamics within which China operated under Hu Jiantao and Xi Jinping.

The book features series of essays originally published on the Open Democracy website between 2006 and 2013. It covers a range of topics from the fall out over the award of the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo, to the 2008 Beijing Olympics. It presents a comprehensive introduction to the first and second decade of modern China in the 21st century. The essays encompass voices from the political elite, the migrant labourers and the complex patchwork of groups, people and interests that constitute a rising China whose influence is now felt across the world. Carnival China is a celebration of the confusion, dynamism and colour of China, presented through short essays which were written at the time key events happened and which capture and analyse the country's contradictions and complexities.

One of the main events highlighted in the book was the 2008 Olympics Games held in Beijing. Brown writes that in hindsight, it can look as though China's apparent tortuous last six months have been part of some masterly public relations plan to manage the world's expectations for the games. It was a case that the expectations for the Beijing Olympics were becoming dangerously high, and needed a four stage plan to manage these expectations.

Read more about the elaborate public relations plan, and much more in the book. An excerpt of the book can be found here:


About the Author

Kerry Brown is Professor of Chinese Politics and Director of the China Studies Centre at the University of Sydney. He leads the Europe China Research and Advice Network (ECRAN) funded by the European Union and is an Associate Fellow on the Asia Programme at Chatham House, London. His main interests are in the politics and society of modern China, in its international relations and its political economy.

Educated at Cambridge (MA), London (Post Graduate Diploma in Chinese with Distinction) and Leeds Universities (Ph D), he worked in Japan and the Inner Mongolian region of China, before joining the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in London in 1998. He worked in the China Section and then served as First Secretary, Beijing, from 2000 to 2003, and Head of the Indonesia East Timor Section at the FCO from 2003 to 2005.

He is a Senior Fellow of the China Policy Institute at Nottingham University and of the LSE Ideas Centre, as well as being an affiliated scholar with the Mongolia and Inner Asian Studies Unit at Cambridge University.

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.