Is There Elite Resistance to Xi Jinping's Power Concentration? How, Why, and What It Means?

Talk by Guoguang Wu, University of Victoria

President Xi Jinping’s power concentration has achieved a remarkable success since he came to power in 2012, as he is now often portraited China’s “new emperor.” How to assess and analyze the success, however, is still a challenge to comprehending China’s political development in both terms of leadership politics and state-society relations. The questions concerning possible elite resistance to Xi’s power concentration are particularly crucial to such analysis: Is there any elite resistance to Xi’s fast-growing power and authority? How could the Party-state cadres be able to do such resistance? What are the motivations behind such resistance if it does occur? And, perhaps most importantly, what political consequences follow such domination-resistance struggles? With the empirical focus on the latest developments of China’s elite politics since the 19th Party Congress held in October 2017, this talk will, first, analyze Xi’s new measures for power concentration, elite resistances to Xi’s political ambition, and Xi’s strive-backs, and, second, attempt at connecting the analysis to state-society relations, China’s historical process of post-Mao transition, and theoretical reflections on authoritarian politics.

Guoguang Wu, a Ph.D. in politics from Princeton University, is Professor of Political Science, Professor of History, and Chair in China & Asia-Pacific Relations at the University of Victoria, Canada. With research interests on two tracks, namely, political institutions of China and its transformation in comparative perspectives, and political economy of capitalism and globalization, he is author of four books, including China’s Party Congress: Power, Legitimacy, and Institutional Manipulation (Cambridge University Press, 2015) and Globalization against Democracy: A Political Economy of Capitalism after its Global Triumph (Cambridge University Press, 2017), editor/coeditor of six volumes, and author and editor of more than a dozen of Chinese books. During the late 1980s he worked in Beijing as a policy advisor and a speechwriter to China’s national leadership.

Please upgrade to a browser that supports HTML5 audio or install Flash.

Audio MP3 Download Podcast


Transcript   * This might take a few seconds to load.

published icon

Published: Thursday, January 17, 2019