Journal of Chinese Political Science

, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 335–353 | Cite as

The Chinese Ideology: Reconciling the Politics with the Economics of Contemporary Reform

  • André Lieber
Research Article


Political scientists and economists fundamentally disagree in their assessment of ideology in contemporary Chinese reform. Whereas the former emphasize its functional value legitimizing the overall course of reform, the latter warn of indoctrination and negative welfare effects. We argue that ideology is pervasive in China’s political economy of reform—past, present, and future. Moreover, a common assessment is both necessary and feasible. The presented case studies (loyalty signaling, message control, policy learning, and anti-corruption) underline the highly ambiguous role of ideology oscillating between alignment and adaptation. In the end, ideology can unite or divide Chinese society as well as increase or diminish economic efficiency.


Chinese Reform Ideology Signaling Censorship Policy Learning Anti-corruption 


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Copyright information

© Journal of Chinese Political Science/Association of Chinese Political Studies 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Evolutionary and Institutional EconomicsWitten/Herdecke UniversityWittenGermany

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