Alternative futures of China: A macrohistorical approach

Jeanne Hoffman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


This paper is an heuristic application in understanding China's alternative futures by looking at the deeper patterns of history and social change developed by four macrohistorians: Sima Qian, Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar, Pitirim Sorokin and Oswald Spengler. It questions the dominant perspective on the future that the Western liberal and consumerist system will endlessly rise. By using macrohistorical perspectives, distance is created from short-term economic and political projections allowing a view of the stages of history, the broader shape of the future through space and time, which provides another way to think about China's alternative futures. Four alternative futures are developed. In the first future, there is a regime change, with moves towards democracy and greater human rights. In the second future, there is a Golden Age for China and the world with major scientific, political and cultural achievements. In the third future, change is material and shallow, and in the fourth future there is collapse, not just of China's rise, but also of the world capitalist system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-27
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014


  • Alternative futures
  • China
  • Macrohistory
  • Oswald spengler
  • Pitirim sorokin
  • Prabhat ranjan sarkar
  • Sima qian


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