Conclusion: A Journey to Popular Legitimacy and Party Cohesion
The “rise of China” is proving to be one of the most important developments of the early 21st century. While some scholars have been debating whether — or even when — China will lead the world (e.g., Beeson, 2013; Jacques, 2009), the CCP has been seriously concerned about the continuation of its rule. Not only the collapse of Eastern European communist regimes and the Soviet Union, but also the failure of republicanism and the KMT in China’s modern history have constantly alerted the CCP to the consequences of losing popular support and consensus among the elite. After Mao Zedong died in 1976, the CCP realized that its legitimacy was at an all-time low because of the long-term national chaos and the almost-collapsed economy. Since then, the CCP has taken a completely different performance-based approach from Mao’s ideology-based one.
KeywordsAuthoritarian Rule Power Succession Chinese Nationalism Ideological Discourse Formal Ideology
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