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Where the Party Rules: The Rank and File of China's Communist State (Studies of the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University)

Where the Party Rules: The Rank and File of China's Communist State (Studies of the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University)

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Daniel Koss
Cambridge University Press, 4/30/2018
EAN 9781108430739, ISBN10: 1108430732

Paperback, 408 pages, 22.9 x 15.3 x 2.3 cm
Language: English

In most non-democratic countries, today governing forty-four percent of the world population, the power of the regime rests upon a ruling party. Contrasting with conventional notions that authoritarian regime parties serve to contain elite conflict and manipulate electoral-legislative processes, this book presents the case of China and shows that rank and-file members of the Communist Party allow the state to penetrate local communities. Subnational comparative analysis demonstrates that in 'red areas' with high party saturation, the state is most effectively enforcing policy and collecting taxes. Because party membership patterns are extremely enduring, they must be explained by events prior to the Communist takeover in 1949. Frontlines during the anti-colonial Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945) continue to shape China's political map even today. Newly available evidence from the Great Leap Forward (1958–1961) and the Cultural Revolution (1966–1976) shows how a strong local party basis sustained the regime in times of existential crisis.

Part I. Autocratic Grassroots Politics
1. Introduction
party-based authoritarianism in China
2. A theory of authoritarian regime parties
Part II. The Party in Contemporary China
3. The CCP as co-enforcer of the one-child policy
4. The CCP's support in generating the state's material base
Part III. The Party's Origins
5. War contingencies at the origin of the CCP's power base
6. The shifting geography of the CCP's power base (1949–2016)
Part IV. The Party in the Mao Era
7. Can the CCP disobey? The great leap famine (1958–61)
8. The CCP and regime survival in times of crisis (1967–9)
9. Conclusion
Appendices
References.