onsdag 2. mai 2018


China in the twenty-first century is a vibrant modern economy and society open to the world, with a large and well-educated urban middle class. Many people inside and outside the country expected its political system to follow the historical example of other authoritarian regimes by gradually institutionalizing governance to make it more accountable, responsive, and law-bound.

Until 2012, that is essentially what happened. But under Xi Jinping, China is making a U-turn. Personalistic rule is back and with it the risk of arbitrary decision making that often results from the excessive concentration of power, as Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping warned after Mao Zedong’s death. The risk to China and to the world of a personalistic regime in Beijing is particularly acute today when constraints on Xi in the global arena are weakening. Why is the CCP heading back to personalistic rule after more than thirty years of institutionalized collective leadership?