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Journal of Chinese Political Science

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 47–61 | Cite as

Prospects for Democratic Transition in China

  • Sujian Guo
  • Gary A. Stradiotto
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Abstract

The core tenet of modernization theory is that as nation-states develop both economically and socially, they will inevitably transition to democracy. Yet, despite 30-years of robust economic development and growth, including increases in civil society, democracy remains elusive in China. In this article, we conduct a critical and empirical analysis to understand the challenges and possibilities of democratization in China. Should China transition to democracy, it will most likely occur through a top-down process that transforms the state and its institutions of government or through a cooperative pact by joint forces of top-down and bottom-up processes. Under either a converted or cooperative transition, the modeling in this study strongly suggests that China is likely to be successful should it undertake the process of democratization.

Keywords

Modernization Democratization Democratic Transition China 

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Copyright information

© Journal of Chinese Political Science/Association of Chinese Political Studies 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political Science and Center for US-China Policy StudiesSan Francisco State UniversitySan FranciscoUSA
  2. 2.George Washington UniversityWashingtonUSA

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