In most non-democratic countries, today governing forty-four percent of the world population, the power of the regime rests upon a ruling party. Contrasting with conventional notions that authoritarian regime parties serve to contain elite conflict and manipulate electoral-legislative processes, this book presents the case of China and shows that rank and-file members of the Communist Party allow the state to penetrate local communities. Subnational comparative analysis demonstrates that in 'red areas' with high party saturation, the state is most effectively enforcing policy and collecting taxes. Because party membership patterns are extremely enduring, they must be explained by events prior to the Communist takeover in 1949. Frontlines during the anti-colonial Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945) continue to shape China's political map even today. Newly available evidence from the Great Leap Forward (1958-1961) and the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) shows how a strong local party basis sustained the regime in times of existential crisis.
Daniel Koss (Academia Sinica Taipei Taiwan)
Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication:
05 April 2018
Professional and scholarly
Part I. Autocratic Grassroots Politics: 1. Introduction: party-based authoritarianism in China; 2. A theory of authoritarian regime parties; Part II. The Party in Contemporary China: 3. The CCP as co-enforcer of the one-child policy; 4. The CCP's support in generating the state's material base; Part III. The Party's Origins: 5. War contingencies at the origin of the CCP's power base; 6. The shifting geography of the CCP's power base (1949-2016); Part IV. The Party in the Mao Era: 7. Can the CCP disobey? The great leap famine (1958-61); 8. The CCP and regime survival in times of crisis (1967-9); 9. Conclusion; Appendices; References.
Daniel Koss is Assistant Research Fellow at the Institute of Political Science of Academia Sinica, Taipei. Prior to this appointment, he was a post doctoral fellow at the Harvard Academy for International and Area studies.