Table of Contents

Handbook of the Politics of China

Handbook of the Politics of China

Handbooks of Research on Contemporary China series

Edited by David S.G. Goodman

The Handbook of the Politics of China is a comprehensive resource introducing readers to the very latest in research on Chinese politics. David Goodman provides an introduction to the key structures and issues, providing the foundations on which later learning can be built. It contains four sections of new and original research, dealing with leadership and institutions, public policy, political economy and social change, and international relations and includes a comprehensive bibliography. Each of the 26 chapters has been written by an established authority in the field and each reviews the literature on the topic, and presents the latest findings of research. An essential primer for the study of China’s politics.

Chapter 2: Ideology of the Chinese Communist Party

Kazuko Kojima

Subjects: asian studies, asian politics and policy, politics and public policy, asian politics


This chapter presents perspectives for discussing the ideology of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) by reviewing the history of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the arguments raised in previous academic works examining the CCP’s ideology. As a preliminary step, the functions of ideology in politics, especially under authoritarian regimes, will be discussed. Ideology is defined as ‘a set of beliefs, especially the political beliefs on which people, parties, or countries base their actions’ (Collins COBUILD 2006: 718). Governments, especially authoritarian governments that lack ‘rational-legal authority’ as proposed by Max Weber, tend to place importance on ideology as an inexpensive tool with which to cloak their ‘coercive power’ or ‘utilitarian power’ in a veil of ‘normative power’ (Etzioni 1961) and thus avail themselves of a normative justification of authority. The CCP has also consistently established ideological work as one of the pillars of its rule and shown dedication to instilling official ideologies in its subordinates to claim normative power. The importance of ideology under the CCP’s rule has been emphasized in previous studies on Chinese politics. Franz Schurmann, in the introduction to his renowned work Ideology and Organization in Communist China, wrote, ‘China is like a vast building made of different kinds of brick and stone. However it was put together, it stands.

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