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What Matters Most in Selecting Chinese Top Leaders?: Qualitative Comparative Analysis

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>09/2013
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Chinese Political Science
Issue number3
Number of pages17
Pages (from-to)223-239
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date7/06/13
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This article analyses the selection criterion of China’s most powerful leading body—the Politburo Standing Committee—by using Qualitative Comparative Analysis and the latest data of the 18th Party Congress in 2012. It finds that age, combined with institutional rules, is one of the dominant factors in deciding the appointment of leaders in 2012, suggesting the significance of institutional rules in today’s elite politics in China. It also finds that candidates’ patron-client ties with senior leaders did play a role but they are not always positive in terms of the career advancement of candidates. Moreover, and perhaps surprisingly, this study finds that powerful family backgrounds do not have positive impacts on promotion at the highest level.