The Changing Patterns of Communist Party-State Relations in China: Comparative Perspective

By Guo, Dingping | The Journal of East Asian Affairs, Spring/Summer 2017 | Go to article overview

The Changing Patterns of Communist Party-State Relations in China: Comparative Perspective


Guo, Dingping, The Journal of East Asian Affairs


INTRODUCTION

The party-state relations in western democracies have been analyzed in great detail since Richard S. Katz and Peter Mair published their seminal research article on the emergence of the cartel party in 1995 (1995: 5-28). The political parties have not been weakened by the massive economic and social changes, but strengthened because of their closer relations with the state, and parties have now become semi-state agencies (Mair, 1998: 105-6). Consequently, scholars have discussed many issues of party-state relations, such as the parties' legal existence, their access to public resources, state subventions to political parties, regulation of party finance and campaign behavior (Müller and Sieberer, 2006: 435-43; Karl-Heinz Nassmacher, 2006: 446-55). Nicole Bolleyer even raises the most fundamental question, namely whether intensifying party-state interpenetration form part of a broader societal development or whether it is only party-specific (2013: 231).

Many remarkable changes have taken place in Chinese politics since the reform and opening policies were adopted in the late 1970s. Scholars of Chinese politics have studied different kinds of political reforms and political developments during the past three decades, yet many China experts take it for granted that the Communist Party-state resists any changes. In sharp contrast to the increasing interests in the party-state relations in western democracies, little attention has been paid to the Communist party-state relations in China simply because China has been regarded as a party-state in which the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has had monopoly of the state power, the party organizations have deeply penetrated the state apparatus and the party leadership has tightly controlled the state bureaucracy. As Hannah Arendt pointed out, it is perfectly true that 'even an expert would be driven mad if he tried to unravel the relationships between Party and State' in the Third Reich (1976: 395). Therefore, it is believed that it is of no theoretical and practical significance to distinguish the party from the state and discuss the party-state relations in China. One important exception is Shiping Zheng who tried to distinguish the party from the state and provided the comprehensive analysis of the tensions between the CCP and the Chinese state (1997: 9-12). Unfortunately, he identified three patterns of the party-state relations (either party or state; both party and state; and party supersedes state) and inevitably failed to explain political resilience since he treated both party and state as some kind of monolithic structure.

This paper is designed to explore and explain the different patterns of relations between the CCP and Chinese state by analyzing the legislative developments and changing relations between the CCP and People's Congresses (PCs). While many scholars have made great contributions to the studies of Party-government relations in China, the author tends to regard the CCP-PCs relation as a more important and promising field of study when we discuss the Communist party-state relations in contemporary China not only because the PCs are the state organs in Chinese constitutional structure, but also because great achievements have been made in legislative development during the past decades of state-building. The whole paper will be divided into four parts as follows. First, some important literature will be reviewed and a new theoretical framework of analysis of party-state relations will be introduced. Second, the legislative developments and changing patterns of Communist party-state relations will be analyzed in my theoretical framework. Third, the new pattern of Communist party-state relations emerging since the late 1990s in China will be studied, especially the recent developments about the increasing number of Communist party secretaries, who serve as the chairpersons of Provincial People's Congress (PPC) standing committee, will be described and discussed in detail. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

The Changing Patterns of Communist Party-State Relations in China: Comparative Perspective
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.