Heike Holbig

Ideological Reform and Political Legitimacy in China: Challenges in the Post-Jiang Era

GIGA Working Paper, No. 18, March 2006

As a Socialist country undergoing rapid social and economic transition, China presents a revealing case study on the role of ideology in the process of institutional change. Based on Douglass North’s theory of institutional change and on David Beetham’s theory of political legitimation, this paper argues that recent ideological reforms have been a crucial factor in sustaining the legitimacy of Communist party rule. Ideological change is conceived as a path-dependent process which helps to stabilize the social perception of transition and to frame the party’s modernization achievements. At the same time, the dominant role of ideology makes the Chinese party-state, despite its economic success, more vulnerable to legitimacy crises compared to other authoritarian regimes.

GIGA-Forschung zum Thema

Related Research Tabs

GIGA AutorInnen

Prof. Dr. Heike Holbig

Senior Research Fellow
Redaktion GIGA Focus Asien

Prof. Dr. Heike Holbig ist Senior Research Fellow am GIGA Institut für Asien-Studien und Professorin für Politikwissenschaft mit dem Schwerpunkt Area Studies China/Ostasien an der Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main. Als Mitglied des GIGA Forschungsschwerpunkts 1 „Politische Verantwortlichkeit und Partizipation“ befasst sie sich mit dem ideologischen und organisatorischen Wandel des chinesischen Parteiregimes. Im Rahmen des GIGA Forschungsschwerpunkts 4 „Macht und Ideen“ forscht sie zur Rolle Chinas in multilateralen Organisationen.

Aktuelle Publikationen der AutorInnen

Heike Holbig

Xi Jinping and the Art of Chrono-Ideological Engineering

in: Barbara Mittler / Natascha Gentz (eds.), China and the World - the World and China: Transcultural Perspectives on Modern China, Volume 3, Gossenberg: Ostasien Verlag, 2019, 183-200

Cornelia Storz / Heike Holbig

Theories on Institutional Change: An Application to the Dynamics of “Protecting the Weak”

in: Iwo Amelung / Moritz Bälz / Heike Holbig / Matthias Schumann / Cornelia Storz (eds.), Protecting the Weak in East Asia: Framing, Mobilisation, and Institutionalisation, Abingdon / New York: Routledge, 2018, 112-137

Heike Holbig

Whose New Normal? Framing the Economic Slowdown Under Xi Jinping

Journal of Chinese Political Science, 23, 2018, 3, 341–363