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China's Ideological Spectrum

Forthcoming, The Journal of Politics

56 Pages Posted: 14 Apr 2015 Last revised: 9 Mar 2017

Jennifer Pan

Harvard University - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Yiqing Xu

University of California, San Diego

Date Written: March 7, 2017

Abstract

The study of ideology in authoritarian regimes --- of how public preferences are configured and constrained --- has received relatively little scholarly attention. Using data from a large-scale online survey, we study ideology in China. We find that public preferences are weakly constrained, and the configuration of preferences is multi-dimensional, but the latent traits of these dimensions are highly correlated. Those who prefer authoritarian rule are more likely to support nationalism, state intervention in the economy, and traditional social values; those who prefer democratic institutions and values are less likely to be nationalistic or support traditional social values but more likely to support market reforms. This latter set of preferences appears more in provinces with higher levels of development and among wealthier and better educated respondents. These findings suggest preferences are not simply split along a pro-regime or anti-regime cleavage, and indicate a possible link between China's economic reform and societal cleavages.

Keywords: ideology, authoritarianism, political cleavage, China, factor analysis

Suggested Citation

Pan, Jennifer and Xu, Yiqing, China's Ideological Spectrum (March 7, 2017). Forthcoming, The Journal of Politics. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2593377 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2593377

Jennifer Pan

Harvard University - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences ( email )

Byerly Hall
8 Garden Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Yiqing Xu (Contact Author)

University of California, San Diego ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
#0521
La Jolla, CA 92093-0521
United States

HOME PAGE: http://yiqingxu.org/

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