Jinghan Zeng, The Chinese Communist Party's Capacity to Rule: Ideology, Legitimacy, and Cohesion

Wenqing Zhao


The complex relation between the Chinese Communist Party’s ideology, legitimacy, and capacity to rule has been under-researched. In The Chinese Communist Party’s Capacity to Rule: Ideology, Legitimacy, and Cohesion, Dr. Jinghan Zeng notes that previous scholarship on the legitimacy of the Chinese authoritarian regime focuses primarily on government performance and pays insufficient attention to ideology. In fact, most current literature on this issue propound a rather narrow understanding of ideology as a formal system of belief and thus consider the problem of ideology to be obsolete in the study of contemporary Chinese public administration. The book challenges such conventional understanding. It approaches the concept of ideology in terms of a prevailing political discourse, which provides a source of legitimacy and justifies cohesion. Moreover, it seeks to answer the question of how the Communist Party maintains its rule by studying two crucial strategies: ideological adaptation and institutionalization of leadership succession. The author argues that ideology, broadly understood, not only influences the construction of popular legitimacy, but also plays a crucial role in maintaining the internal stability of the ruling elite. Together they contribute to the “survival” of the Chinese authoritarian regime.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22140/cpar.v7i1.121


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Chinese Public Administration Review (ISSN 1539-6754, Online ISSN 2573-1483)  is published by the Institute for Public Service at Suffolk University - Boston.