Den kinesiska partistaten

Anatomi och utmaningar


  • Börje Ljunggren


The Chinese party-state: Anatomy and challenges

The time after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union, was by many in the West seen as “the end of history”. Only one path now remained, liberal democracy based on a market economy. However, the notion that the remaining communist states would almost automatically turn into democracies in step with their market economic development turned out to be wishful thinking. Economically, China uninhibitedly “copied” the West but, unsurprisingly, refused to convert politically. Still, China “failed to fail”, and during the current decade the Chinese economy will very likely become the world's largest, since long being the world's largest trading nation in goods, deeply integrated into the global economy. At the same time, the party state has not only remained, but been strengthened.

Under Deng Xiaoping, the architect of “reform and opening”, China's opportunities in the era of hyper-globalization were skillfully exploited. Within the framework of the party-state, some institutional development took place. The stability-fixated Xi has instead deepened the party’s role and, by lifting the two-term limit for the party secretary of CPC established under Deng, taken a serious step away from urgent institutional development. Does the party, facing mounting challenges in an exceedingly polarized world, once again have the capacity for renewal?