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Legitimation, Kooptation und Repression in der Volksrepublik China
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Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht
This article examines the interaction of legitimation, cooptation, and repression in China’s... mehr
Legitimation, Kooptation und Repression in der Volksrepublik China
This article examines the interaction of legitimation, cooptation, and repression in China’s authoritarian consolidation. It shows that the totalitarian regime under Mao Zedong was characterized by a low degree of performance and cooptation and that it had to rely on extreme repression and ideological indoctrination to stay in power. After the death of Mao Zedong, the character of the regime changed markedly. The new elites made sparing use of repression and indoctrination but did not compensate the abdication of coercive and ideological control with increases in the performance or cooptation of powerful social groups. This induced a power vacuum, in which popular discontent against increasing corruption, rising inequality, and high inflation fermented. The student demonstrations of 1989, which quickly spread to include other population groups, were an expression of this discontent. Learning from this crisis, the communist party leadership subsequently initiated reforms to increase regime performance and co - opted an increasing number of social groups. The use of repression remained a last resort option. The central findings of this contribution are that these measures significantly improved the stability of China’s one -party autocracy.