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Title: Modernization theory in China's context : state capacity and central-local relations
Authors: Ju, Huijing
Keywords: DRNTU::Humanities
Issue Date: 2013
Abstract: In 1959, Lipset has set the academic foundation of modernization theory, by arguing that a steady increase in the overall wealth of a society is conducive to the consolidation of political democracy. In this paper, I would like to discuss the relation between economic development and political democracy, and test its viability in China's context. Despite the fact that the Chinese national economy is booming, this paper argues that the causal mechanism is not relevant in China, due to the unique institutional mechanism of the rule imposed by the Chinese Communist Party, which is powerful and flexible. In other words, economic advancement performs more as part of the Party's efforts to enhance legitimacy, rather than a stimulus to democratization. Specifically, this paper attempts to prove this argument by examining China's central-local relations, and it selects Guangdong Province, the most affluent province in China, as the case study. Although the local government in Guangdong Province receives a high level of economic autonomy, it is still under strict control by the central government. Hence, economic growth does not necessarily trigger a meltdown of the rigid authoritarian regime in China.
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:RSIS Theses

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