[3/21 Washington DC] Political elites in a networked society: How Chinese civil society is integrated with the authoritarian regime

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Political elites in a networked society: How Chinese civil society is integrated with the authoritarian regime
Thursday, March 21
6:00pm – 8:00pm

LBJ Washington Center
1100 New York Ave NW
Washington DC

Light refreshments served

Abstract

This paper studies how the Chinese civil society is integrated with the authoritarian regime through a highly educated group of political elites holding critical roles in both polity and civil society. Analysis of individuals presents that, the political elites are meshed in a social structure of two-layer networks: the civil society network and the political network. The leaders of Communist Youth League are widely embedded in civil society network but marginalized in political network. Over half of these political elites are provincial leaders connecting local and central governments. Analysis of formal institutions reveals that, Chinese Communist Party (CCP) forms a dyad with the State Council, resembling the politics–administration tension studied in western democracies. Unlike conventional thoughts about authoritarian regimes, the Chinese civil society and political networks are highly pluralistic, but CCP builds itself as a necessary broker between political groups. In President Hu’s term, intellectuals are a significant power for integrating civil society. In Xi’s term, CCP is over-politicized, widely embedded, and institutionalized, serving as the only and direct channel that connects civil society and polity.

Please enter the building through the New York Ave NW entrance. The Center is located one level up via the stairs or elevator immediately to your right upon entrance.

Metro Access – The LBJ Washington Center is located two blocks from Metro Center (Red, Blue, Orange, and Silver lines) and a 10-minute walk from Gallery Place/Chinatown (Green and Yellow lines)