How Authoritarian Rule Works

Modern China, Vol. 36, No. 1, pp. 79-86, January 2010

9 Pages Posted: 24 Dec 2009 Last revised: 11 Jan 2010

See all articles by Kevin J. O'Brien

Kevin J. O'Brien

University of California, Berkeley - Charles and Louise Travers Department of Political Science

Date Written: November 1, 2009

Abstract

Common features of the articles by Xueguang Zhou and Jiang Shigong include attention to governance rather than reform or regime change, to informal as well as formal rules, and to practice over texts. The articles differ mainly in their level of abstraction and the reach of their findings. But even here, Zhou’s "organizational practices" are essentially micro-level variants of the broader, constitutional principles that Jiang explores. Both authors make a persuasive case that there are abiding rules that pattern behavior between Chinese political elites, though what these rules are, and what distinguishes constitutional principles from other institutions (and temporary political compromises), await further study.

Keywords: implementation, cadre responsibility system, goal displacement, collusion, constitution, people’s congress, democratic centralism, Hong Kong Basic Law

JEL Classification: K10, K40, K42, L50, N45, O53, P39

Suggested Citation

O'Brien, Kevin J., How Authoritarian Rule Works (November 1, 2009). Modern China, Vol. 36, No. 1, pp. 79-86, January 2010, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1527803

Kevin J. O'Brien (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley - Charles and Louise Travers Department of Political Science ( email )

210 Barrows Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

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