China's Disaffected Insiders
Journal of Democracy, Vol. 28, No. 3 (July 2017), pp. 5-13
13 Pages Posted: 31 Jul 2017
Date Written: July 26, 2017
To understand authoritarian vulnerabilities, it pays to examine tensions within the state, not only challenges from above and below. This essay considers three groups of resentful and disillusioned insiders in China: frustrated police, neglected ex-military officers, and bullied protest demobilizers. That some people who should be committed to state goals now believe they are victims rather than beneficiaries of Party rule raises questions about the system’s cohesiveness and the morale of the rank and file. Does lack of full-throated support mean the regime is alienating its natural constituency? What happens when some of the Party’s most reliable cheerleaders stop cheering?
Keywords: regime change, police, PLA, veterans, protest, demolition
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