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Journal of Chinese Political Science

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 123–140 | Cite as

“Performance Legitimacy” and China’s Political Adaptation Strategy

  • Yuchao ZhuEmail author
Research Article

Abstract

The CCP government has adopted a very pragmatic strategy of “performance legitimacy” since China began its reform. It means that the government relies on accomplishing concrete goals such as economic growth, social stability, strengthening national power, and “good governance” (governing competence and accountability) to retain its legitimacy. While it is able to attain considerable domestic support by implementing this strategy, it has no particular interest in pursuing democratization. This chapter tries to make sense of the main reasons why it has adopted this strategy and to evaluate the political and social outcome of its policies. The chapter intends to discover if China’s adaptation strategy is a “path dependent” decision, and if it will function as a potential catalyst for significant political change in the future. The chapter also explores what the Chinese government has achieved through its adaptation strategy and what and why it has been unwilling or unable to do to obtain an “original justification” of power. Zhu skillfully travels back and forth between the terrains of theory and practice to make better sense of legitimacy and governance in China’s experiences.

Keywords

Legitimacy Governance Adaptation Accountability Path-dependence 

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Copyright information

© Journal of Chinese Political Science/Association of Chinese Political Studies 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of ReginaReginaCanada

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