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Title: What Can Comparative Authoritarianism Tell Us About China Under Xi Jinping (and Vice Versa)?
Authors: 童涵浦
Tung, Hans H
Wu, Wen-Chin
Contributors: Issues & Studies
Keywords: Commitment problem ;media freedom ;authoritarian institutions ;institutional change ;Chinese politics
Date: 2021-12
Issue Date: 2022-04-11 09:08:14 (UTC+8)
Abstract: This paper evaluates the progress and impact of the literature on comparative authoritarianism, showing not only how its development over the previous two decades can help us understand China's authoritarian politics better, but also how the latter can move the former forward. We focus on two important topic areas in the literature: authoritarian power-sharing and autocratic politics of information (e.g., partial media freedom and government censorship). For the first topic, we shall review the literature on the authoritarian power-sharing between dictators and their allies and explicate how this conceptual innovation helps us understand the institutional foundation of China's regime stability and phenomenal economic performance before Xi Jinping. The analysis then provides us a baseline for assessing China's economic and political future under Xi Jinping given his clear departure from the pre-existing power-sharing framework. Finally, this paper also assesses the relevance of the literature on authoritarian politics of information to the Chinese context. In sum, we not only emphasize the conceptual contributions of the literature of comparative authoritarianism to the field of Chinese politics, but also identify lacunae in the current literature and avenues for future research that post-Xi political developments have made visible to us.
Relation: Issues & Studies, 57(4), 2150013(1-16)
Data Type: article
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