Populist Authoritarianism: Chinese Political Culture and Regime Sustainability
Populist Authoritarianism focuses on the Chinese Communist Party, which governs the world's largest population in a single-party authoritarian state. Wenfang Tang attempts to explain the seemingly contradictory trends of the increasing number of protests on the one hand, and the results ofpublic opinion surveys that consistently show strong government support on the other hand. The book points to the continuity from the CCP's revolutionary experiences to its current governing style, even though China has changed in many ways on the surface in the post-Mao era.The book proposes a theoretical framework of Populist Authoritarianism with six key elements, including the Mass Line ideology, accumulation of social capital, public political activism and contentious politics, a government that is responsive to hype, weak political and civil institutions, and ahigh level of regime trust. These traits of Populist Authoritarianism are supported by empirical evidence drawn from multiple public opinion surveys conducted from 1987 to 2014. Although the CCP currently enjoys strong public support, such a system is inherently vulnerable due to its institutionaldeficiency. Public opinion can swing violently due to policy failure and the up and down of a leader or an elite faction. The drastic change of public opinion cannot be filtered through political institutions such as elections and the rule of law, creating system-wide political earthquakes.
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2008 China Survey ABSII Appendix behavior Beijing CCP’s ceiling effect central government leaders chapter China and Taiwan Chinese Communist Party Chinese political Chinese respondents civic culture civic trust civil disobedience communal trust Confucian contentious politics democracy democratic dependent variable dispute resolution distrust economic effect elections elites ethnic ethnosymbolism example external efficacy factor index findings government officials government responsiveness group action Guangzhou high level income individual Inglehart interpersonal trust liberal democracy list experiment litical Mass Line ment migrant national identity one’s organizations overt measure parochial trust party-state people’s political culture political mobilization political participation political support political system political trust populist authoritarian promote protests public opinion surveys reform regime support regression role rural residents sample social capital society studies Taiwan Tang tion tolerance tradition trust in China types Urban Survey Values Survey China variables World Values Survey