Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 20
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Gu, Hongyan 2016. NIMBYism in China: Issues and prospects of public participation in facility siting. Land Use Policy, Vol. 52, p. 527.


    Przeworski, Adam 2016. Democracy: A Never-Ending Quest. Annual Review of Political Science, Vol. 19, Issue. 1, p. 1.

    Collins, Neil and Butler, Patrick 2015. A marketing perspective on the rise of China: monopoly, politics and value. Journal of Marketing Management, Vol. 31, Issue. 3-4, p. 269.

    Fu, Qiang 2015. Neighborhood conflicts in urban China: from consciousness of property rights to contentious actions. Eurasian Geography and Economics, Vol. 56, Issue. 3, p. 285.

    Hyun, Ki Deuk and Kim, Jinhee 2015. The role of new media in sustaining the status quo: online political expression, nationalism, and system support in China. Information, Communication & Society, Vol. 18, Issue. 7, p. 766.

    Lin, Fen Chang, Tsan-Kuo and Zhang, Xinzhi 2015. After the spillover effect: news flows and power relations in Chinese mainstream media. Asian Journal of Communication, Vol. 25, Issue. 3, p. 235.

    Weiss, Jessica Chen 2015. Emerging Trends in the Social and Behavioral Sciences.

    Tang, Min and Huhe, Narisong 2014. The Variant Effect of Decentralization on Trust in National and Local Governments in Asia. Political Studies, p. n/a.

    Tong, Jingrong and Zuo, Landong 2014. Weibo communication and government legitimacy in China: a computer-assisted analysis of Weibo messages on two ‘mass incidents’†. Information, Communication & Society, Vol. 17, Issue. 1, p. 66.

    Wang, Yuhua 2014. Coercive capacity and the durability of the Chinese communist state. Communist and Post-Communist Studies, Vol. 47, Issue. 1, p. 13.

    Duckett, Jane and Wang, Hua 2013. Extending political participation in China: new opportunities for citizens in the policy process. Journal of Asian Public Policy, Vol. 6, Issue. 3, p. 263.

    Podger 澳大利亚国立大学, Andrew and Yan 西安交通大学, Bo 2013. Public Administration in China and Australia: Different Worlds but Similar Challenges (中国和澳大利亚的公共行政管理:不同的世界,相似的挑战). Australian Journal of Public Administration, Vol. 72, Issue. 3, p. 201.

    Yan, Fei 2013. A Little Spark Kindles a Great Fire? The Paradox of China's Rising Wave of Protest. Social Movement Studies, Vol. 12, Issue. 3, p. 342.

    Zajak, Sabrina 2013. Transnational private regulation and the transformation of labour rights organizations in emerging markets: new markets for labour support work in China. Journal of Asian Public Policy, Vol. 6, Issue. 2, p. 178.

    Fairbrother, Gregory P. 2011. Forging consensus for implementing youth socialization policy in Northwest China. International Journal of Educational Development, Vol. 31, Issue. 2, p. 179.

    He, Baogang and Warren, Mark E. 2011. Authoritarian Deliberation: The Deliberative Turn in Chinese Political Development. Perspectives on Politics, Vol. 9, Issue. 02, p. 269.

    He, Baogang 2011. Civic engagement through participatory budgeting in China: Three different logics at work. Public Administration and Development, Vol. 31, Issue. 2, p. 122.

    Su, Yang and He, Xin 2010. Street as Courtroom: State Accommodation of Labor Protest in South China. Law & Society Review, Vol. 44, Issue. 1, p. 157.

    Tang, Shui-Yan Lo, Carlos Wing-Hung and Fryxell, Gerald E. 2010. Governance reform, external support, and environmental regulation enforcement in rural China: The case of Guangdong province. Journal of Environmental Management, Vol. 91, Issue. 10, p. 2008.


Power Structure and Regime Resilience: Contentious Politics in China

  • DOI:
  • Published online: 13 May 2008

Authoritarian governments may face serious uncertainties when dealing with popular resistance because of the unpredictable consequences of making concessions or repressing opposition. However, a political system with multiple levels of authority can help reduce the uncertainties by granting conditional autonomy to lower-level authorities. Such a power structure prevents excessive repression and unconditional concessions when the priorities of different levels of authority do not match. Under this political arrangement, the central authority can avoid blame when local authorities use repression. The divided power also helps reduce the uncertainties faced by the central authority because it will then have to deal with only a very limited number of instances of resistance. Using the case of China, this article shows that divided state power has allowed the party-state to maintain social stability amid numerous instances of social unrest during the reform era.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

British Journal of Political Science
  • ISSN: 0007-1234
  • EISSN: 1469-2112
  • URL: /core/journals/british-journal-of-political-science
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *