Political Ideology and Accounting Regulation in China
Posted: 1 Sep 2016
Date Written: August 30, 2007
This paper analyzes the relationship between political ideology and accounting change covering the transition from Maoism to Dengism in China. Under Mao, the ideological principles of class struggle primacy, central planning, and public ownership were mobilized to construct a class view of accounting according to which Western accounting concepts were prohibited because they were considered a tool of capitalist exploitation. Under Deng, the new ideological principles of economic development primacy, marketization, and mixed-ownership paved the way for a different view of accounting to emerge. Accounting was re-presented as a science and a neutral technology with no national boundaries, and the adoption of what were deemed Western accounting concepts, such as conservatism, was encouraged. In both eras, accounting was construed as a malleable object shaped by the force of the dominant political discourse. We show how in each era political ideology created a context that was rendered more or less compatible with the adoption of particular accounting concepts.
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