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Reclaiming Legitimacy in China
Politics and Policy (2010)
  • Heike Holbig
  • Bruce Gilley, Portland State University, Portland, Oregon
The contemporary politics of China reflect an ongoing effort by the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to reclaim the right to rule in light of the consequences of economic development, international pressures, and historical change. China's regime stands out within the Asian region for its success in the effort of adapting to change and ensuring its continuity. Focusing on changes in China's elite discourse during the reform period and particularly during the last decade, the aim of this article is to elaborate the relative importance of various sources of legitimacy as they are shifting over time, as well as inherent dilemmas and limitations. There is evidence of an agile, responsive, and creative party effort to relegitimate the postrevolutionary regime through economic performance, nationalism, ideology, culture, governance, and democracy. At the same time, the study finds a clear shift in emphasis from an earlier economic-nationalistic approach to a more ideological-institutional approach.
  • Legitimacy of Governments,
  • China -- Politics and
Publication Date
Publisher Statement
Copyright (2010) Wiley
Citation Information
Heike Holbig and Bruce Gilley. "Reclaiming Legitimacy in China" Politics and Policy Vol. 38 Iss. 3 (2010) p. 395 - 422
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