Political Institutionalisation at the Basic Level of Government and Below in China

  • Robert Benewick
Part of the Studies on the Chinese Economy book series (STCE)


Twenty years ago Samuel P. Huntington argued that a theory of political development had to be matched by a theory of political decay. Rapid mobilisation and participation which are political aspects of modernisation can also undermine political institutions and procedures, especially where there is no tradition of the rule of law. Communist states have an advantage because the Party can attempt to balance mobilisation with organisation. (Huntington 1965, 1968). When the party in Communist states is unable to maintain this balance, however, a result is political decay or a crisis of institutionalisation. That is, the legitimacy, efficacy and stability of the existing institutions is called into question. Moreover, this process is exacerbated if the party is seen to be the principal source of political decay by significant sections of the population.


Political Institutionalisation Economic Reform Political Reform Standing Committee Party Branch 
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© Gordon White 1991

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  • Robert Benewick

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