China's Communist Party and the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake
Sorace takes a distinctive and original interpretive approach to understanding Chinese politics, and Shaken Authority demonstrates how Communist Party discourse and ideology influenced the official decisions and responses to the Sichuan earthquake. Sorace provides a clear view of the lived outcomes of Communist Party plans, rationalities, and discourses in the earthquake zone. The three case studies he presents each demonstrate a different type of reconstruction and model of development: urban-rural integration, tourism, and ecological civilization. Sorace’s work emphasizes the need for a grounded literacy in the political concepts, discourses, and vocabularies of the Communist Party itself. To dismiss China’s official discourse as "empty propaganda," Sorace argues, makes China and Chinese realities harder to understand, not easier.