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Institutionalization of the authoritarian leadership in China: a power succession system with Chinese characteristics?

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>09/2014
<mark>Journal</mark>Contemporary Politics
Issue number3
Number of pages21
Pages (from-to)294-314
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date23/05/14
<mark>Original language</mark>English


To transfer power successfully at the top and prevent a leadership split during this process has always been extremely challenging for authoritarian regimes. Yet, power succession in China has demonstrated a high degree of stability in the past two decades. How did the authoritarian regime in China perform its leadership transition in an orderly and smooth manner? This paper argues that 30 years of institutionalization has resulted in the development of a power succession system with Chinese characteristics. By offering a large amount of primary and secondary data on Chinese elite politics, this paper analyses the institutional development of succession politics and its impacts on regime stability and legitimacy in China. The case of the Chinese succession system provides a dramatic example in understanding 'authoritarian resilience'.