Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:

China: Economic Liberalization, Adaptive Informal Institutions, and Party-State Resilience

Authors Tsai, Kellee S View this author's profile
Issue Date 2015
Source The Oxford Handbook of Transformations of the State , Editors: Stephan Leibfried, Evelyne Huber, Matthew Lange, Jonah D. Levy, John D. Stephens. New York : Oxford University Press, 2015, p. 654-671
Summary The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) continues to monopolize political power against what are conventionally understood to be powerful odds against authoritarian survival: rapidly growing commercial and middle classes, official venality, social instability, and the demonstration effect of regime transition in former socialist countries. How has China’s party-state managed to redefine itself while presiding over one of the most successful cases of economic development? This chapter builds on insights derived from historical institutionalism and proposes that the concept of “adaptive informal institutions” may elucidate the causal mechanisms underlying party-state resilience. The case of China demonstrates that adaptive informality may facilitate reforms that revitalize state institutions on the verge of anachronistic irrelevance and decay. The party-state’s institutional adaptations for channeling political participation fall short of formal transition to democracy, but they provide a certain degree of stability in an otherwise volatile social and political climate.
Publisher Oxford University Press
ISBN 9780199691586
Language English
Format Book chapter
Access View full-text via DOI