Politics in China since 1949: Legitimizing Authoritarian Rule

Overview

Since the victory of the 1949 revolution the incumbency of the Chinese Communist Party has been characterized by an almost relentless struggle to legitimize its monopoly on political power. During the Mao era, attempts to derive legitimacy focused primarily on mass participation in political affairs, a blend of Marxist and nationalist ideology, and the charismatic authority of Mao Zedong. The dramatic failure of the Cultural Revolution forced the post-Mao leadership to discard these discredited paradigms of ...

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Politics in China since 1949: Legitimizing Authoritarian Rule

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Overview

Since the victory of the 1949 revolution the incumbency of the Chinese Communist Party has been characterized by an almost relentless struggle to legitimize its monopoly on political power. During the Mao era, attempts to derive legitimacy focused primarily on mass participation in political affairs, a blend of Marxist and nationalist ideology, and the charismatic authority of Mao Zedong. The dramatic failure of the Cultural Revolution forced the post-Mao leadership to discard these discredited paradigms of legitimacy and move towards an almost exclusively performance based concept founded on market economic reform.

The reforms during the 1980s generated a number of unwelcome but inevitable side effects such as official corruption, high unemployment and significant socio-economic inequality. These factors culminated ultimately in the 1989 demonstrations in Tiananmen Square and throughout China. Since Tiananmen the party has sought to diversify the basis of its legitimacy by adhering more closely to constitutional procedures in decision making and, to a certain extent, by reinventing itself as a conservative nationalist party.

This probing study of post-communist revolution Chinese politics sets out to discover if there is a plausible alternative to the electoral mode or if legitimacy is the exclusive domain of the multi-party system.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415512459
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 1/26/2013
  • Series: Routledge Contemporary China Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Legitimizing the new regime : the early post-revolutionary years 15
2 Mass participation and mass legitimacy : the Great Leap Forward 41
3 A crisis of legitimacy : the great proletarian cultural revolution 58
4 Redefining party legitimacy : the succession to Mao and the rise of Deng 84
5 New era new crisis : problems of legitimacy in the 1980s 109
6 In search of new paradigms of legitimacy : China since Tiananmen 133
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