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  • Author: Graeme Gill
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The accepted wisdom about dictators is that they rule their political systems in an essentially arbitrary and willful manner. Their leadership colleagues are said to live in constant fear of the dictator, always vulnerable to his will and always looking to defend themselves against him. The leadership is shown as a Hobbesian “war of all against all” as the leader rules with no real restraint. This paper challenges that view. It will explain why such a view of leadership politics in authoritarian systems is inadequate, and will illustrate this by looking at two of the most egregious dictators of the twentieth century, Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong.
  • Topic: Communism, Democratization, Politics, Governance, Institutions, Political Parties
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Eurasia, Asia
  • Author: Nick Holdstock
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Centre for Conflict Resolution
  • Abstract: On March 1st 2014 a knife-wielding group of ten people attacked passengers and passers-by in the railway station in Kunming, capital of China's south-western Yunnan province. Twenty-eight were killed and 113 injured. By the following day the government was describing the incident as a "separatist" attack perpetrated by "terrorists from Xinjiang". The attack in Kunming is the latest in a series of violent incidents in China that the government attributes to radical Islamist organisations that aim to promote what it calls the "Three Evils" of "terrorism, separatism and religious extremism". These acts have predominantly occurred in China's far western Xinjiang region, most recently in January and February 2014. Incidents in other parts of China have been attributed to the same forces.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Communism, Economics, Human Rights, Islam
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Heike Holbig, Bruce Gilley
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: The contemporary politics of China reflect an ongoing effort by the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to claim the right to rule in light of the consequences of economic development, international pressures, and historical change. China stands out within the Asian region for the success the regime has achieved in this effort. By focusing on the changes in China elite discourse during the reform period and particularly during the last decade, this paper aims to elaborate on the relative importance of various sources of legitimacy as they shift over time, as well as on their inherent dilemmas and limitations. There is evidence of an agile, responsive, and creative party effort to relegitimate the post-revolutionary regime through economic performance, nationalism, ideology, culture, governance, and democracy. At the same time, the paper identifies a clear shift in emphasis from an earlier economic‐nationalistic approach to a more ideological-institutional approach.
  • Topic: Communism, Development, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Daniel Lemus Delgado
  • Publication Date: 08-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: CONfines de Relaciones Internacionales y Ciencia Política
  • Abstract: El presente artículo analiza la ceremonia de inauguración de los XXIX Juegos Olímpicos de Beijing y el desfile conmemorativo del 60 Aniversario del establecimiento de la República Popular China. Estos eventos son parte de la estrategia del gobierno comunista para construir la imagen de una "Gran China". Este análisis parte de un enfoque constructivista de las Relaciones Internacionales. Por lo tanto, se asume que las identidades colectivas son importantes, porque contribuyen a moldear las estructuras materiales del escenario internacional. Así, estos eventos mediáticos fortalecen la identidad colectiva del pueblo chino y con ello, la posibilidad de que el Estado chino tenga cada día un rol más importante en la arena mundial.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Communism, Mass Media
  • Political Geography: China, Israel, Asia
  • Author: Susan D. Blum
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This article examines aspects of China's language ideology regarding the exposure or concealment of negative news and the promotion of positive news, focusing especially on the 2008 riots in Tibet and the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Censorship may have many appearances and rationales; in this case the permission to criticize or expose depends on the speaker's identity and the anticipated consequences of the revelation. Strong preference, supported by nationalistic identification and policy, favors the promulgation of “happy news” and seeks to suppress and repress any contrary messages. The intersection of nationalism and a concern for a unified, uplifting message result in what is arguably some of the world's most intense censorship.
  • Topic: Communism, Human Rights, Mass Media
  • Political Geography: China, Beijing, Asia
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: One of the most important democratic experiments of the last 25 years has been the movement in more than 600,000 villages across China toward open, competitive elections, allowing 75 percent of the nation's 1.3 billion people to elect their local leaders. For over a decade, at the invitation of the Chinese Ministry of Civil Affairs and the National People's Congress, The Carter Center has worked to help standardize the vast array of electoral procedures taking place in this new democratic environment and foster better governance in local communities. Since 1996, The Carter Center has observed numerous village elections, provided training to local government officials on electoral procedures, and helped conduct a nation-wide survey on villager self-governance.
  • Topic: Communism, Democratization, Governance
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Pyongyang's latest round of provocations has prompted Beijing to reconsider its North Korea policy. A rocket launch, the withdrawal from the Six-Party Talks, and the 25 May nuclear test all deepened doubts in China about its policies towards its neighbour. This series of escalating gestures coincided with reports that Kim Jong-il was seriously ill, which set in train succession plans. Together, the nuclear tensions and succession worries drew out an unusually public, and critical, discussion in China about its ties with North Korea. The debate took place between those proposing a stronger line against North Korea (“strategists”) and others advocating the continuation of substantial political and economic cover for China's traditional ally (“traditionalists”). Beijing ultimately supported a strongly worded UN Security Council presidential statement and a resolution mandating a substantial sanctions regime, albeit one focused on missile and defence programs that would not destabilise the economy. Although many in the West have pointed to this debate as a sign of a policy shift, Beijing's strategic calculations remain unchanged. As one high-level Chinese diplomat said, “Our mindset has changed, but the length of our border has not”. North Korea's attempted satellite launch and nuclear test generated significant domestic and international pressure on Beijing, while its withdrawal from the Six-Party Talks stripped China of its primary strategy for dealing with the nuclear crisis. Chinese policymakers began to question whether North Korea's nuclear ambitions and desire for recognition as a nuclear power by the international community were in fact negotiable. Beijing was angered by the latest escalation and was ready to reprimand the North, but in a controlled way that would protect Chinese interests.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Communism, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North Korea
  • Author: Robert T. Gannett Jr.
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Despite the aftershocks of a natural disaster, the economy of the region's most populous nation still manages to produce unprecedented prosperity for its citizens. Its government is omnipresent, fueling this growth by building roads, canals, and new manufacturing plants, while seeking to eradicate collective constraints of a bygone era. Individuals respond to the new economic opportunities by becoming more industrious, more inventive, more acquisitive, more bourgeois, more capitalist. In the midst of such sudden economic transformation, the government struggles to maintain political stability. When protests erupt in the countryside, it suppresses them or co-opts their leaders. In an effort to reduce political tension, it allows a measure of personal liberty and speaks frequently of the need for reforms. It recognizes the importance of public opinion, doing everything it can to cultivate, manage, and control its expanding influence, especially in times of crisis and when the nation finds itself on the world stage. It frequently remodels administrative rules and habits applying to the whole nation, issuing edicts from the center that are routinely ignored in the provinces. And to the surprise of all, it launches a new system for the whole nation of local assemblies chosen by local voters, while inviting all residents to express and address local grievances in each of even its tiniest far-flung villages.
  • Topic: Communism, Democratization
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Mark Knight
  • Publication Date: 08-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Global Facilitation Network for Security Sector Reform
  • Abstract: This research paper was commissioned by GFN-SSR as part of a help-desk support to inform HMG to report on its engagement in the context of Nepal. The query asked for illustrative examples and lessons of integration; in particular, examples of integration into armies, integration into non-military forces (police, armed police, intelligence, etc), and creation of new security structures (industrial security forces, border police, etc) into which ex-combatants are then integrated.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Communism
  • Political Geography: Asia, Nepal
  • Publication Date: 05-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Nepal's Maoists have changed their strategy and tactics but not yet their goals. In 1996 they launched a “people's war” to establish a communist republic but ten years later ended it by accepting multiparty democracy; their armed struggle targeted the parliamentary system but they are now working alongside their former enemies, the mainstream parties, in an interim legislature and coalition government. Their commitment to pluralistic politics and society is far from definitive, and their future course will depend on both internal and external factors. While they have signed up to a peaceful, multiparty transition, they continue to hone alternative plans for more revolutionary change.
  • Topic: Communism, Development, Government
  • Political Geography: Asia, Nepal