Bruce Dickson
The Dictator's Dilemma: The Chinese Communist Party's Strategy for Survival
March 14, 2018 Comments.. 553
The Dictator s Dilemma The Chinese Communist Party s Strategy for Survival Many observers predicted the collapse of the Chinese Communist Party following the Tiananmen Square crackdown in and again following the serial collapse of communist regimes behind the Iron Curt

Many observers predicted the collapse of the Chinese Communist Party following the Tiananmen Square crackdown in 1989, and again following the serial collapse of communist regimes behind the Iron Curtain Their prediction, however, never proved true Despite minor setbacks, China has experienced explosive economic growth and relative political stability ever since 1989.InMany observers predicted the collapse of the Chinese Communist Party following the Tiananmen Square crackdown in 1989, and again following the serial collapse of communist regimes behind the Iron Curtain Their prediction, however, never proved true Despite minor setbacks, China has experienced explosive economic growth and relative political stability ever since 1989.In The Dictator s Dilemma, eminent China scholar Bruce Dickson provides a comprehensive explanation for regime s continued survival and prosperity Dickson contends that the popular media narrative of the party s impending implosion ignores some basic facts The regime s policies may generate resentment and protest, but the CCP still enjoys a surprisingly high level of popular support Nor is the party is not cut off from the people it governs It consults with a wide range of specialists, stakeholders, and members of the general public in a selective yet extensive manner Further, it tolerates and even encourages a growing and diverse civil society, even while restricting access to it Today, the majority of Chinese people see the regime as increasingly democratic even though it does not allow political competition and its leaders are not accountable to the electorate In short, while the Chinese people may prefer change, they prefer that it occurs within the existing political framework.In reaching this conclusion, Dickson draws upon original public opinion surveys, interviews, and published materials to explain why there is so much popular support for the regime This basic stability is a familiar story to China specialists, but not to those whose knowledge of contemporary China is limited to the popular media The Dictator s Dilemma, an engaging synthesis of how the CCP rules and its future prospects, will enlighten both audiences, and will be essential for anyone interested in understanding China s increasing importance in world politics.

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1 Blog on “The Dictator's Dilemma: The Chinese Communist Party's Strategy for Survival

  1. Hadrian says:

    An interesting study on how the CCP and the people of China approach the topic of political legitimacy. For the future of the CCP's survival, Dickson proposes their future is a middle ground between collapse and democratization, more of a political 'muddling through'. The backbone of this book are the opinion polls, which are a rare insight into what the people think. E.g rate of income growth is not as important as continued growth. Democratization is viewed as dangerous (with a fear of the eco [...]

  2. Keith says:

    It isn't every day that an academic book is a "page turner," but I couldn't put this book down. Great examples of surveys of Chinese citizens on what they think of democracy, internet, and other aspects of their society. If you want to learn more about China without all the rhetoric, this is a good place to start.

  3. Chris Jaffe says:

    Political science books tend to leave me flat, and this one is no different. Perhaps a three star review is a bit low, but - well, that was my reaction. Maybe this is a time when the star rating tells you more about the reviewer than what's being reviewed.Getting to the book -- Dickson's looking at how the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) retains its support. Ultimately, a series of studies causes Dickson to question several bits of conventional wisdom from the West about China, namely: 1) the CCP' [...]

  4. Bruce says:

    I couldn't get past the opening chapters completely bent on regime change for dummies rather than looking at China. Out of date, opinionated and not very good at all. You will end up understanding more about american fantasy than anything else.

  5. bks says:

    I wonder what will the author say in 2017.

  6. Ietrio says:

    My bad. I picked up this book because I read Bruce Dickinson. I find out it's just another dull academic paper pusher who doesn't get totalitarian regimes, or that the polls are just another form of popular entertainment. And the irony: his ignorance does not stop him from getting an excellent pay, and even traveling on other people's money. Chapter 4. He explains with the pathos only an ignorant can deal how the goal of the Communist Party is to stay in power. Not for one second does he realize [...]

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