The Concept Construction of Chinese-Style Democracy

25 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2011 Last revised: 5 Aug 2011

See all articles by Wen-Hsuan Tsai

Wen-Hsuan Tsai

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: 2011


This paper attempts to establish a model of Chinese-Style Democracy through the process of concept construction. Concept construction involves both abstract and specific approaches, and this paper will identify and present both the abstract overarching concept and specific subtypes of Chinese-Style Democracy. If emphasis is placed on the abstract perspective, then the overarching concept of Chinese-Style Democracy can be understood to be a soft authoritarian regime, or in even more abstract terms, a hybrid regime. If a more specific conception of Chinese-Style Democracy is to be constructed, then three classical subtypes can be proposed: grassroots democracy, administrative democracy, and patriarchal democracy, as well as three diminished subtypes: intra-party democracy, consultative democracy and National People’s Congress democracy. Each of these subtypes possesses its own specific traits. Finally, this paper discusses how best to define Chinese-Style Democracy, or democracy with Chinese characteristics, from the perspective of concept construction.

Keywords: Chinese-Style Democracy, Concept ladder, Overarching concept, Subtypes

Suggested Citation

Tsai, Wen-Hsuan, The Concept Construction of Chinese-Style Democracy (2011). APSA 2011 Annual Meeting Paper. Available at SSRN:

Wen-Hsuan Tsai (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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