Heike Holbig

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

GIGA Working Paper, No. 18, March 2006

Abstract
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.

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Prof. Dr. Heike Holbig

Senior Research Fellow
Editor GIGA Focus Asia

Prof. Dr. Heike Holbig is a senior research fellow at the GIGA Institute of Asian Studies and Professor of Political Science with a focus on Chinese and East Asian Area Studies at Goethe University Frankfurt. As a member of the GIGA’s Research Programme 1 “Accountability and Participation,” she focuses on state–society relations as well as ideological and organisational changes in the authoritarian party regime of the People’s Republic of China. Besides doing research on the domestic politics of China, she also studies the international dimensions of legitimation.

Recent Publications by the Authors

Bertram Lang / Heike Holbig

Civil Society Work in China: Trade-Offs and Opportunities for European NGOs

GIGA Focus Asia, 06/2018

Heike Holbig

Whose New Normal? Framing the Economic Slowdown Under Xi Jinping

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

Iwo Amelung / Moritz Bälz / Heike Holbig / Matthias Schumann / Cornelia Storz

Weak vs. Strong: Ambiguities of Protection

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, 257-271

Iwo Amelung / Moritz Bälz / Heike Holbig / Elisa Hörhager / Matthias Schumann / Cornelia Storz

Introduction

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, 1-19

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