The Chinese Communist Party's Capacity to Rule: Ideology, Legitimacy and Party Cohesion
With Dr Jinghan Zeng, Royal Holloway
4-6pm, Wednesday 21 October 2015
Room S-1.04, Strand Campus, King's College London
Conventional wisdom considers China’s economic performance as a principal source of political legitimacy in China. It is argued that market reforms have rendered ideology obsolete nowadays. Yet, rapid economic growth has also created a fundamental dilemma for the Chinese Communist Party’s rule. If a communist party is not to deliver communism and class victory, why is it there at all? There is a potential contradiction between generating economic success by utilizing quasi capitalist economic policies on the one hand, and the fact that this is a communist party that supposedly justifies its rule by being the vehicle to deliver a communist society on the other. This talk will discuss how this contradiction has challenged the CCP’s rule by generating belief crises among the Chinese society and ideological battles within the party. It will also address how the CCP has been constantly revising its ideological basis for justifying its rule on the one hand, and institutionalized its leadership succession on the other hand in order to stay in power.
About the speaker
Jinghan Zeng is a Lecturer in International Relations in the Department of Politics and International Relations at Royal Holloway, University of London. He is also an Associate Fellow in the Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation at the University of Warwick and a Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy. He holds degrees from the University of Warwick (PhD, May 2012- April 2014) and the University of Pittsburgh (MA, 2009-2011). His research and teaching interests lie in the field of Chinese politics and research methodology, with more specific interests in the study of China's authoritarian system, elite politics of contemporary China, and Chinese foreign policy. He is the author of The Chinese Communist Party's Capacity to Rule: Ideology, Legitimacy and Party Cohesion (October 2015 forthcoming). His academic papers have appeared in International Affairs, Contemporary Politics, Journal of Contemporary China, and Journal of Chinese Political Science. Before his academic career, he worked for the United Nations’ Department of Economic and Social Affairs in New York City.