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2015 events

Institutional Evolutions and Elite Competition and Cooperation in Power Succession in China

Research seminar
With Dr Zhengxu Wang, Associate Professor, University of Nottingham
28 October 2015, 4-6pm
Room S-1.04, Strand Campus, King's College London

**All welcome**


Traditionally, communist and other non-democratic regimes often suffered excessive elite competition which often led to assassinations, purges, and coups. The inability for elites in these regimes to enter cooperative arrangements is largely due to the indivisibility and non-transferability of the top political power in the system. Because of that, when a succession looms on the horizon, plots and conspiracies among various power contending coalitions quickly plagued the system. The succession arrangements that have evolved in China since the early 1990s, however, seem to have greatly reduced the scope and intensity of power struggle among elites.

This presentation identifies the institutional arrangements that have evolved to govern power transition and power sharing among China’s political elite. This set of institutions has greatly reduced the uncertainties political actors face, and established credible expectation of power sharing and power transfer, therefore removed the potential security dilemmas between power competitors and between the incumbent and his successor. As a result, political elites are much more willing to cooperate in various scenarios, enabling two relatively orderly successions to take place, in 2002 and 2012, respectively. Political competitions are still rife within the current institutional framework, and for that this paper will present a structure in which such competitions take shape.

About the speaker

Dr. Zhengxu Wang is Associate Professor at the School of Contemporary Chinese Studies University of Nottingham. He researches on national party and state institutions and politics in China, especially the politics among top political elites, citizen values and political behaviours in China and East Asia, and institutional changes and political reforms in China’s, among other topics. He publishes widely in the major academic journals, including The China Quarterly, Governance, International Review of Sociology, Journal of Contemporary China, and others. He works with internationally renowned think tanks and supplies timely and sharp analyses of political events and international affairs of China to a wide range of media outlets as well.


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