Does China's Middle Class Think and Act Democratically? Attitudinal and Behavioral Orientations Toward Urban Self-Government

Journal of Chinese Political Science, Vol. 11, No. 2, Fall 2006

21 Pages Posted: 11 Mar 2013

See all articles by Jie Chen

Jie Chen

University of Idaho

Chunlong Lu

Old Dominion University

Date Written: 2006

Abstract

In the West, the middle class has been considered a potent agent of the sociopolitical transition toward democracy and the cornerstone of democratic rule. Does a middle class in China think and act democratically and hence serve as the harbinger of democratic change in that country? This study attempts to answer this critical question by examining the attitudinal and behavioral orientations of middle-class individuals toward grassroots self-government in urban China. It is based on data collected from a representative sample survey conducted in Beijing. The findings indicate that China’s middle class expects grassroots self-government to be formed in a democratic way; yet the middle class is critical of the currently-implemented self-government system because it is not organized as democratically as they expect, and therefore the middle class is less likely to participate in the system. These findings have significant implications for the role of the Chinese middle class in the democratization of China.

Keywords: China, the middle class, democracy, political attitudes, political participation

Suggested Citation

Chen, Jie and Lu, Chunlong, Does China's Middle Class Think and Act Democratically? Attitudinal and Behavioral Orientations Toward Urban Self-Government (2006). Journal of Chinese Political Science, Vol. 11, No. 2, Fall 2006, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2230922

Jie Chen (Contact Author)

University of Idaho ( email )

College of Graduate Studies
Morrill Hall 104
Moscow, ID 83844-3017
United States
(208) 885-2167 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.uidaho.edu/class/politicalscience/jie-chen

Chunlong Lu

Old Dominion University ( email )

Norfolk, VA 23529-0222
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
45
Abstract Views
438
PlumX Metrics