China's Ideological Spectrum
Harvard University - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
University of California, San Diego
May 6, 2016
MIT Political Science Department Research Paper No. 2015-6
This paper offers a quantitative analysis of ideology in China, to examine how beliefs and preferences are configured, and to measure the extent to which they are bound together by some form of constraint. Based on a large scale online survey, we identify an ideological spectrum characterized by one main dimension bound by a relatively weak constraint using both principal component analysis and models of the item response theory. On one end of this spectrum, preferences for authoritarian rule coincide with support for traditional norms and political distribution of resources. On the other end of this spectrum, preferences for political liberalization coincide with opposition to traditional values and support for markets allocation of resources. Evidence suggests that this latter set of views is more likely found in provinces with higher levels of development and among individuals with higher income and education. We corroborate these findings with a nationally representative sample from the Asian Barometer Survey.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 64
Keywords: ideology, authoritarianism, political cleavage, Communism, China, principal component analysis
Date posted: April 14, 2015 ; Last revised: June 17, 2016
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