Author: Karin Tomala | Pages: 71–88
Over the last decades, globalization has led to major geopolitical shifts. Western countries are not prepared for this scale of change. The majority of them consider their political and economic systems universally applicable in the context of development and transformation. However, the dynamics of development points to something else. As demonstrated, China's growth strategy combines tradition with the accepted necessities of modernity. The pragmatic and cultural approach towards the political and economic initiatives assumes the pivotal role in the analysis. It is increasingly believed that China's growth strategy may result in the emergence of a competitive model and create a kind of new model of global integration and cultural dialog. New lifestyle models, social mentalities and development models emerge, including changes in civilization's awareness and openness to globalization - with China already part of the decision-making. One of the key assumptions throughout the discourse of this study is that political and social change in China cannot be understood nor analyzed based exclusively on the Western, normative concept of both an individual and society at large. At the same time, it is emphasized that, in most cases, neither Western-type analysis of China's growth, based on native, country-specific experience nor its key premises describing the course of growth, cannot constitute a useful, universal yardstick for measuring social and political change in the Chinese modernization process. The study emphasizes the fact that despite all the changes that are taking place, the existing identity can still be described as cultural identity and state identity, however, increasingly open towards other civilizations.