Liberalization in Times of Instability: Margins of Unconventional Participation in Chinese Authoritarianism
GIGA Working Paper No 103
36 Pages Posted: 8 Jul 2009 Last revised: 17 Aug 2012
Date Written: June 7, 2009
Unconventional participation is by no means regime-threatening per se, not even in an authoritarian regime like China. On the contrary, the Chinese government has been able to generate legitimacy by tolerating certain forms of unconventional participation and by localizing the responsibility for solving conflicts. The current leadership in Beijing has chosen these strategies to channel protests, co-opt civic society, and avoid blame - complementary to rather repressive forms of governance. An evaluation of protest events shows that the government has succeeded in containing protests quantitatively as well as qualitatively (that is, in terms of scope and the potential threat to the political system) through the extension of opportunities to air grievances.
Notes: Downloadable document is in German.
Keywords: PR China, authoritarianism, opportunity and threat, central-local relationship, unconventional participation, legitimacy, protest events
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
By Sean Gray