The Institutionalization of the Authoritarian Leadership in China

  • Jinghan Zeng
Part of the Critical Studies of the Asia-Pacific book series (CSAP)


A core argument in this book, as established in the Introduction chapter, is that the institutionalization of power succession in China plays a key role in maintaining the CCP’s internal stability and its capability to maintain legitimacy. Leadership transitions have always been turbulent moments for authoritarian regimes (Clapham, 1988; Hughes and May, 1988). A challenging task for authoritarian regimes is to prevent the division between ruling elites during the process of power succession. Leadership transition rarely proceeds without violence in authoritarian regimes. Yet, owing to institutionalization, power succession in contemporary China has demonstrated a high degree of stability in the past two decades. This chapter studies the institutional development of the Chinese succession system and its impacts on party cohesion and legitimacy.


Ethnic Minority Political Elite Central Committee Leadership Transition Institutional Rule 
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Copyright information

© Jinghan Zeng 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jinghan Zeng
    • 1
  1. 1.Royal HollowayUniversity of LondonUK

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