Kerry Brown Books
What's Wrong with Diplomacy: The Case of the UK and China, Penguin, 2015
Traditional methods of diplomacy are fast becoming antiquated. Secrecy, pomp and elitism may have dictated diplomatic strategy of the Cold War era, but in a digitised twenty-first century, inclusivity and transparency are values of increasing importance. Access to information is being democratised for a global citizenry, and nowadays everyone is a potential diplomat. From the handover of Hong Kong to recent high-profile political scandal, former diplomat Kerry Brown explores the chequered relationship between the UK and China, offering fresh insights into the fraught and ever-changing dynamic between these two countries. What's Wrong with Diplomacy? is a call to arms and a probing indictment of diplomacy's failure to adapt to a changing world.
'Part memoir, part advocacy, Kerry Brown's compelling and provocative essay is a clarion call for a change in the UK's diplomatic practices.' Professor Rosemary Foot, PhD, FBA, Department of Politics and International Relations, St Antony's College, University of Oxford
'Brown's call for a more modern, diverse and transparent approach to diplomatic engagement in the information age is worthwhile reading for anyone interested in Britain's relations with China.' Duncan Hewitt, Adjunct Professor, New York University, Shanghai, and author of Getting Rich First: Life in a Changing China
(Poetry) Lost Calls: 64 Poems. Library Partners America, 2016.
This sequence of 64 short poems represent an inquiry on the theme of absence and the complex feelings and associated language and images it gives rise to. Written between 2014 and 2015, partly in Australia, partly in the UK, and in Taiwan and Hong Kong, each one distils a moment in which affections and memories are reawakened towards a person, and places or experiences they are associated with. They record the various ways in which absence in the life of someone present figures constantly as a source of struggle, disquiet, and tension, and figure ways in which this disruption is managed and, partially, pacified.
Contemporary China Palgrave MacMillan, 2013, Second Edition 2015. Third Edition due 2018
A lively, accessible and concise introduction to political, economic and social life in China. Illustrated with maps, charts and tables throughout, the book assumes no prior knowledge, and places current developments clearly in their historical, cultural and international context. It offers an ideal starting point for students and general readers looking for an introduction to contemporary China that is readable, informative, sophisticated and thought-provoking.
Hu Jintao: China’s Silent Ruler
World Scientific Press, 2012
Over the six-month period from late 2012 to early 2013, Hu Jintao, the President of the People's Republic of China, Chair of the Central Military Commission, and Party Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), will relinquish at least two of his three positions. According to the constitution of the CCP, his time as Party head will come to an end, given that he has already served for two terms. Well over the supposed retirement age of 68, he will have to hand over the leadership of China to a new generation of leaders at the 18th Party Congress in Beijing. In Chinese politics, the act of retirement is surprisingly difficult, but Hu Jintao is widely known for his reserve and reticence; there is little doubt that he could disappear into a quiet and anonymous retirement if he so desires. This timely volume thus aims to provide an analytical assessment of Hu's period in charge of the world's most populous country. It concentrates briefly on his early life and entry into politics, then considers and evaluates his stewardship of the economy and of international affairs, as well as his ideological contribution and leadership of the communist party. In the process, the reader will also be afforded a broad overview of China's rapid developments over the last decade, since 2002.
"Kerry Brown has written an outstandingly insightful book on Hu Jintao. This is not only the first English-language biography of one of the most powerful and also most enigmatic political leaders in the world today, but also an invaluable guide to contemporary China and its prospects."
--Dr Julia Lovell, Birkbeck, University of London
"In Hu Jintao: China's Silent Ruler, Kerry Brown offers a comprehensive and informative account of Hu Jintao's leadership of China during the crucial first decade of the twenty-first century. Brown assesses the policy successes and shortcomings of Hu's leadership in such critical areas as Chinese economics, foreign policy, the Chinese Communist Party, and social stability. Brown's wide-ranging analysis establishes the benchmark for any future study of Hu Jintao's presidency."
--Professor Robert Ross, Boston College
Ballot Box China: Grassroots Democracy in the Final Major One Party State
Zed Books, London, 2011
Since 1988, China has undergone one of the largest, but least understood experiments in grassroots democracy. Across 650,000 villages in China, with over one million elections, 300,000 officials have been elected. The Chinese government believes that this is a step towards "Democracy with Chinese characteristics." But to many involved in these elections, they have been mired by corruption, vote rigging, and cronyism. This book looks at the history of these elections, how they arose, what they have achieved and where they might be going, exploring the specific experience of elections by those who have taken part in them -- the villagers in some of the most deprived areas of China.
“A sober, readable and much-needed corrective to the idea, promoted with great enthusiasm and increasing success by the ruling communist party, that western notions of democracy are alien to China's political traditions and culture. But "Ballot Box China" is not starry-eyed either, placing the issue of democracy firmly in the context of China's own internal debate about political reform.”
-- Richard McGregor, author of 'The Party: The Secret Life of China's Communist Leaders.
“This remarkably clear-eyed primer examines the state of democracy in China from the ground up, in all its complexity. From pen-portraits of local activists to insiders’ analysis, Ballet Box China offers one of the best explanations of how the world’s newest superpower is governed.”
-- Louisa Lim - NPR Beijing correspondent
China 2020: The Next Decade for the People’s Republic of China
Chandos Publishing, Oxford, 2011
concentrates on the practical policy impacts and the expected outcomes each of the above areas will have
deals with issues like the opening up of China’s undeveloped western area. A subject with little coverage in other mainstream books on China
takes a short to mid-term view of China’s development, so that the period is highly definable and the contours of what might happen are already clear
written by a group of writers with immense experience as diplomats and academics in China
includes an assessment of China’s legal development by a lawyer who has worked both in China and the United Kingdom for a major international legal practice
This book presents eight separate essays and provides the reader with a unique perspective and objective judgement of where China will stand by the end of the current decade. It is suitable reading for foreign policy practitioners, academics and anyone interested in one of the world’s fastest-developing countries. The eight essays cover the following topics: China’s internal politics; China’s military; China’s economy; China’s international image and its international relations; China’s legal development and China’s western regional development plans. China 2020 assesses where these issues stand today and highlights their likely trajectory over the following decade. A unique feature of this book is that it looks in particular at the policy impact, both for China and other countries, and all the most and least likely outcomes for China’s development in these areas.
Readership: Policy makers dealing with China in government, and in companies with interests in or around China, and those who run non government organisations. Students and academics specialising in regional studies, and international studies and relations will also have an interest in this book.
This stimulating and thought-provoking analysis of what China will be like in ten years' time is particularly valuable for including the views of China experts who do not normally write in the public domain
John Everard, former British Ambassador to North Korea
Friends and Enemies: The Past, Present and Future of the Communist Party of China
Anthem Press, London, 2009
With a Foreword by Will Hutton
Friends and Enemies’ delivers a lucid and provocative history of one of the world’s largest and most successful political organizations, the Chinese Communist Party. In tracing the traumatic and bitter struggles that forged modern China and analysing the Party’s approach to the challenges of the future, Brown successfully lays bare the inner workings of this enduring and formidable group.
‘“Friends and Enemies” is an intelligent and accessible history of the Party. Brown condenses almost ninety years of CCP history (till 2008) into the first hundred pages. [It] is a useful complement to more detailed, technical sources […] The book would make excellent reading for students, and I recommend it to anyone with an interest in modern China who is not already a master of the twists and turns of twentieth-century Chinese politics.’
—Mireille Mazard, ‘The Newsletter’, International Institute for Asian Studies
‘Highly accessible and stimulating and an excellent introduction to one of the great forces of the 20th and 21st centuries.’
—Michael Rank, ‘Asian Affairs’
'Not a line is wasted in this book. It is packed with details and sweeping explanations of historical periods and current circumstances. The book is a treasure trove for all those dealing with China. The insights Brown has accumulated during his long engagement with the country are invaluable and set the book aside from loudly advertised books on China—books that are also designed for the general reader but likely to showcase all that has gone wrong, pointing the finger at the bad guys in the Communist Party without attempting to understand policy decisions. The book should be on the shelves of all those who engage with China professionally, and of all who take a private interest in the country.'
—Oliver Hensengerth, University of Southampton, in ‘International Affairs’
'Dr Kerry Brown does the business in a brisk, no-nonsense way. For those who want an easy, short and very readable guide to an organisation which has shaped China's present and could help mould the world's future, Brown's book can be warmly recommended.'
—Chris Patten, ‘The Independent’
The Rise of the Dragon: Inward and Outward Investment in China in the Reform Period 1978-2007
Chandos Asian Studies: Contemporary Issues and Trends, Oxford, 2008
Aimed at the increasing number of people either engaged in trade with China, understanding China as an economy, or working with or about China in projects in the commercial, academic, cultural and political arenas, this book offers an accessible history of China as a trading entity, an overview of the key statistics in China's economic development, with succinct interpretation, over the last 30 years since the Chinese economy started its great reformation, and then focuses on China as a destination for inward investment, and as an outward investor, something that has only been happening in the last few years and is historically unprecedented. It will do this through looking at key case studies, in the UK, US, Japan, EU, and Africa, and analysing how trade with China has impacted on these separate areas, and what the next five to ten years might offer. Key Features Is written by someone with the unique experience of working as a commercial officer for the British Embassy in China, drawing on extensive personal knowledge of investment in China over the last decade, and now dealing with Chinese companies as investor in the UK and elsewhere.
Struggling Giant: China in the 21st Century Anthem Books, London, 2007 With a Foreword by Jonathan Fenby
A witty and original book by someone who knows every aspect of China. Everyone will find this a refreshing read.
-- Jasper Becker, author of 'Hungry Ghosts'
Fascinating in its detail, full of nuance and amusing anecdote, this enjoyable book achieves something that few others have managed - it shows China as it really is. Kerry Brown's long association with his subject as a scholar, diplomat and businessman allow him to make confident, authentic judgements on many of the key China questions.
-- James Kynge, Author of 'China Shakes the World'
Kerry Brown offers a broad and challenging view of China past and present, and -- venturing where many scholars fear to tread -- of its likely future too. His varied experiences of the country offer a fresh and always readable insight: China is very much with us, he argues, and we need to understand it much better than we do.
-- John Gittings, Author of 'The Changing Face of China'
Kerry Brown's long association with his subject as a scholar, diplomat and businessman allow him to make confident, authentic judgements on many of the key China questions.
-- James Kynge, author of 'China Shakes the World'
Offers a broad and challenging view of China, past and present and - venturing where many scholars fear to tread - of its likely future too.
-- John Gittings, author of 'The Changing Face of China' John Gittings, author of 'The Changing Face of China'
This is a very timely book for anyone struggling to understand what China is really like and what it means to do business with the Chinese. It washes away the mystique and puts the screaming GDP growth figures into perspective. Its a witty and original book by some one who knows every aspect of China. Everyone will find this a refreshing read.
-- Jasper Becker, Author of 'Hungry Ghosts'
The Purge of the Inner Mongolian People’s Party in the Chinese Cultural Revolution: 1967-1969
Global Oriental Brill, 2006
During the Chinese Cultural Revolution from 1967 to 1969, some 16,000 Mongolians died and over a quarter of a million suffered injury during the purge of what was claimed to be a separatist party in the Inner Mongolian region. This study looks at the purge through an analysis of the voices found in contemporary documents those of Red Guard groups, local leaders felled during the campaign, and the new leaders put in place by the central government in Beijing. At the heart of this was the struggle for domination by a central government asserting national unity, opposed to any expression of local particularities in Inner Mongolia. The author examines the discourse strategies by which central government attempted to impose total control , asserting a dominant ideology and narrative based on Marxism-Leninism. The volume offers a unique insight into the relationship between language and culture of political power in modern China, at a time of crisis and violence.