Chinese Democratization: An Inevitability or Possibility?


  • Yany Siek



China's rapid economic growth since its late 1970 reforms has produced significant debate among scholars concerning whether or not it will democratize. Despite extensive liberalization of its economy, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) maintains an iron grip on its political system. Modernization theory and the potential for a stagnating economy present two compelling arguments for a democratic future. Although Chinese authoritarianism faces significant pressures, the CCP's use of pragmatic political reforms, adaptation, and alternative forms of legitimacy make it resilient. Economic growth or decline is not a sufficient condition for democratization. Rather, the likelihood of democratization will depend on the ability of the CCP to address emerging challenges such as political corruption that could threaten China's authoritarian resilience.




How to Cite

Siek, Y. (2016). Chinese Democratization: An Inevitability or Possibility?. Political Science Undergraduate Review, 1(2), 121–130.