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Published in: Journal of Chinese Political Science 3/2022

24-02-2022 | Book Review

Dimitar D. Gueorguiev, Retrofitting Leninism: Participation Without Democracy in China

(New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2021), 237p. 99.00 hardback; $29.95 paperback

Author: Steven J. Balla

Published in: Journal of Chinese Political Science | Issue 3/2022

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Excerpt

In Retrofitting Leninism, Gueorguiev combines novel theoretical insights and innovative empirical analyses to advance understanding of the coexistence of public participation and authoritarian control in contemporary China. Theoretically, Gueorguiev develops a historical account of why China’s governance reforms of the past several decades are neither window dressing nor a precursor to democratization. Empirically, Gueorguiev employs a variety of data sources and research designs to marshal evidence that governance reforms have both facilitated regime control and incentivized citizens to participate in a system of “controlled inclusion.” To this point, controlled inclusion has perpetuated and refined Chinese Communist Party (CCP) authoritarianism, although Gueorguiev posits that fundamental challenges to the system’s sustainability going forward—such as the personalistic leadership of Xi Jinping—have recently emerged. In sum, Retrofitting Leninism is an ambitious and well-crafted book that should be of interest to a wide range of China researchers, from those interested in macro-political developments to those concerned about the mechanisms of policy implementation. …
Metadata
Title
Dimitar D. Gueorguiev, Retrofitting Leninism: Participation Without Democracy in China
(New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2021), 237p. 99.00 hardback; $29.95 paperback
Author
Steven J. Balla
Publication date
24-02-2022
Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Published in
Journal of Chinese Political Science / Issue 3/2022
Print ISSN: 1080-6954
Electronic ISSN: 1874-6357
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11366-022-09791-6

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