One-Party Rule or Multi-Party Competition?: Chinese Attitudes Toward Party Systems Alternatives

19 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2009 Last revised: 5 Aug 2010

See all articles by Robert Harmel

Robert Harmel

Texas A&M University

Alexander C. Tan

University of Canterbury Department of Political Science

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

This article tests multi-factor explanations for variance among Chinese citizens’ attitudes toward two related but separable party system concepts: the appropriateness of the current one-party system for China today, and the more abstract notion that multiple parties lead to chaos. Using data from The China Survey, conducted with a nationwide sample in 2008, the authors find that feelings of satisfaction with life and with the government contribute more to the explanation of support for China’s current one-party system, while more general attitudes concerning competition relate more strongly to judgments directed at the abstraction of multi-partyism. The data also reveal that while a bare majority accept the argument that multiple parties necessarily bring chaos, the vast majority support the one-party regime for China, suggesting that even if Chinese citizens were to adopt more pro-democratic attitudes, rejection of the current one-party rule would not necessarily follow.Abstract will be provided by author.

Suggested Citation

Harmel, Robert and Tan, Alexander C., One-Party Rule or Multi-Party Competition?: Chinese Attitudes Toward Party Systems Alternatives (2009). APSA 2009 Toronto Meeting Paper, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1450297

Robert Harmel (Contact Author)

Texas A&M University ( email )

Langford Building A
798 Ross St.
College Station, TX 77843-3137
United States

Alexander C. Tan

University of Canterbury Department of Political Science ( email )

Ilam Road
Christchurch 1
New Zealand

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