Enlightened One-Party Rule? Ideological Differences between Chinese Communist Party Members and the Mass Public

7Citations
Citations of this article
28Readers
Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
Get full text

Abstract

A popular view of nondemocratic regimes is that they draw followers mainly from those with an illiberal, authoritarian mind-set. We challenge this view by arguing that there exist a different class of autocracies that rule with a relatively enlightened base. Leveraging multiple nationally representative surveys from China over the past decade, we substantiate this claim by estimating and comparing the ideological preferences of Chinese Communist Party members and ordinary citizens. We find that party members on average hold substantially more modern and progressive views than the public on issues such as gender equality, political pluralism, and openness to international exchange. We also explore two mechanisms that may account for this party–public value gap—selection and socialization. We find that while education-based selection is the most dominant mechanism overall, socialization also plays a role, especially among older and less educated party members. Our findings caution against the simple, dichotomous characterization of political regimes and underscore an important tension between modernization and democratization in developing societies.

Cite

CITATION STYLE

APA

Ji, C., & Jiang, J. (2020). Enlightened One-Party Rule? Ideological Differences between Chinese Communist Party Members and the Mass Public. Political Research Quarterly, 73(3), 651–666. https://doi.org/10.1177/1065912919850342

Register to see more suggestions

Mendeley helps you to discover research relevant for your work.

Already have an account?

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free