China in Xi’s “New Era”: The Return to Personalistic Rule

  title={China in Xi’s “New Era”: The Return to Personalistic Rule},
  author={Susan L. Shirk},
  journal={Journal of Democracy},
  pages={22 - 36}
  • Susan L. Shirk
  • Published 10 April 2018
  • Political Science
  • Journal of Democracy
Abstract:After Mao Zedong died, Deng Xiaoping and his colleagues sought to prevent “the overconcentration of power” by introducing fixed terms of office, term limits, and a mandatory retirement age; delegating authority from the Communist Party to government agencies; and holding regular meetings of Party institutions. All these moves were designed to decentralize authority, regularize political life and check dictatorial power. The centerpiece of the institutionalization project was the… 
The Modern Regency
Extant literature has shown the importance of routinized leadership succession for authoritarian resilience. However, the factors leading to orderly power transitions in autocracies are unclear. This
From Power Balance to Dominant Faction in Xi Jinping's China
Abstract Many China watchers argue that Xi Jinping has concentrated power in his own hands in a manner unprecedented since the death of Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping. This article tests the extent of
The Strength of a Weak Organization: The Communist Youth League as a Path to Power in Post-Mao China
Abstract How can a weak organization be a path to power? The Chinese Communist Youth League (CYL) lacks autonomy and coherence yet it is seen as the cradle for one of the main factions within the
Recasting China’s Foreign Policy: Focusing on Post-Jiang Leaders’ Authority Building
This article is structured as follows. Part II provides a succinct summary of recent China’s assertive external conduct. Based on the created Assertive Foreign Policy Index, we choose several cases
Political Attention in a Single-Leading-Party State: A Comparative Study of the Policy Agenda in China, 2003–2019
Abstract This article explores the political attention of an authoritarian regime from a comparative perspective. Data from daily meetings of the Chinese Communist Party and the State Council from
Clientelism by Design: Personnel Politics under Xi Jinping
  • Jérôme Doyon
  • Political Science
    Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • 2018
Since Xi Jinping took power in late 2012, analysts have puzzled over how best to define his political trajectory. Is he consolidating power and building a personality cult around himself, or is he
Understanding China’s Developmental Path: Towards Socialist Rejuvenation?
As we arrive at a critical juncture in the contestations for a new global order in which China and communication intersect to assume pivotal roles, it has become more urgent than ever to understand
China’s infinite transition and its limits: Economic, military and political dimensions
  • Chih-yu Shih
  • Political Science
    Cambridge Review of International Affairs
  • 2021
behaviour or of the Chinese political system. The (geo)political message of a need to resist China is presented as self-evident and is thus reinforced. Medcalf himself understands the implications of
“A community of shared destiny” : how China is reshaping human rights in Southeast Asia
As China re-emerges on the world stage as a great power, fuelled by intertwined ethno-nationalism and a sense of manifest destiny with roots on its identity as a civilisational state, it is
The End of the Affair: U.S.–China Relations Under Trump
President Donald Trump has overseen an overhaul of U.S. China policy that includes a large military buildup, the most aggressive use of tariffs since World War II, the tightest investment and


Term Limits and Authoritarian Power Sharing: Theory and Evidence from China
Term limits that effectively govern leadership transition play an important role in authoritarian power sharing. A fixed term and a pre-appointed successor— two crucial components of term limits
The Political Logic of Economic Reform in China
In the past decade, China was able to carry out economic reform without political reform, while the Soviet Union attempted the opposite strategy. How did China succeed at economic market reform
Institutions and Inequality in Single-Party Regimes: A Comparative Analysis of Vietnam and China
Despite the fact that China and Vietnam have been the world’s two fastest growing economies over the past two decades, their income inequality patterns are very different. In this paper, we take a
The Politics of Authoritarian Rule
1. Introduction: the anatomy of dictatorship 2. The world of authoritarian politics Part I. The Problem of Authoritarian Power-Sharing: 3. And then there was one!: Authoritarian power-sharing and the
The 19th Central Committee Politburo,
  • China Leadership Monitor
  • 2018
Why China Is Reviving Mao’s Grandiose Title for Xi Jinping,
  • South China Morning Post,
  • 2017
Xi Jinping and the Remaking of Chinese Military Politics,” in Xi Takes Charge: Implications of the 19th Party Congress for China’s Future, 21st Century China Center, University of California
  • San Diego,
  • 2017
Xi’s Signature Governance Innovation: The Rise of Leading Small Groups,
  • Center for Strategic and International Studies,
  • 2017
China’s Top Party Mouthpieces Pledge ‘Absolute Loyalty’ as President Makes Rare Visits to Newsrooms,
  • South China Morning Post (Hong Kong),
  • 2016