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Podcast: The Perfect Dictatorship

by Elizabeth C. Economy
September 14, 2016

wukan-protests Villagers, including schoolchildren, take part in a protest against the arrest of village chief Lin Zuluan in Wukan, in China's Guangdong province, June 22, 2016. (James Pomfret/Reuters)


On this week’s Asia Unbound podcast, Stein Ringen, emeritus professor at the University of Oxford and author of The Perfect Dictatorship: China in the 21st Century, gives us his take on the Chinese party-state. He dubs China today a “controlocracy,” a sophisticated dictatorship that values its grip on power above all else. Ringen believes that Xi Jinping’s anticorruption campaign aims not just to flush out political rivals or protect state coffers, but to root out competing power centers that subvert Beijing’s control. His book is as exacting and stark as a Jo Nesbø novel—and his conclusions are just as grim. Listen in as Ringen describes how even with continued deep engagement from the international community, China’s best-case prognosis is a “hard dictatorship.” Without engagement, China’s fate is far worse—all-out authoritarianism or total chaos. And that’s a China no one wants to see.

Post a Comment 2 Comments

  • Posted by Gary G Price

    Wow, that was an Uber Kool interview with an extremely thoughtful scholar. Great job Elizabeth.

  • Posted by Fermín RODRIGUEZ

    Mi país gestiona créditos y compromisos financieros, pero creo que se desconocen las realidades del sistema chino,Los funcionarios no consultan a los especialistas, y solo ven el aspecto económico.
    Estoy seguro que las opiniones fundadas de estos especialistas y otros que escriben sobre aspectos de fondo no son tenidas en cuenta. China ejerce un imperialismo, que es reflejo se su sistema autoritario, y nuestros países son débiles democráticamente, para generar las contramedidas apropiadas.

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