The Chinese Communist Party as Organizational Emperor: Culture, reproduction, and transformation (Paperback) book cover

The Chinese Communist Party as Organizational Emperor

Culture, reproduction, and transformation

By Zheng Yongnian

© 2010 – Routledge

254 pages | 19 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9780415559652
pub: 2009-11-30
Hardback: 9780415559638
pub: 2009-12-03
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pub: 2009-12-16
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The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is the largest and one of the most powerful, political organizations in the world today, which has played a crucial role in initiating most of the major reforms of the past three decades in China. China’s rapid rise has enabled the CCP to extend its influence throughout the globe, but the West remains uncertain whether the CCP will survive China’s ongoing socio-economic transformation and become a democratic country.

With rapid socio-economic transformation, the CCP has itself experienced drastic changes. Zheng Yongnian argues that whilst the concept of political party in China was imported, the CCP is a Chinese cultural product: it is an entirely different breed of political party from those in the West - an organizational emperor, wielding its power in a similar way to Chinese emperors of the past. Using social and political theory, this book examines the CCP’s transformation in the reform era, and how it is now struggling to maintain the continuing domination of its imperial power. The author argues that the CCP has managed these changes as a proactive player throughout, and that the nature of the CCP implies that as long as the party is transforming itself in accordance to socio-economic changes, the structure of party dominion over the state and society will not be allowed to change.


"This book is ideal reading for scholars interested in political science, Chinese politics, and the CCP. It is also valuable for those looking for an overview of the historical development of the CCP." - Fidy Xiangxing Hong, Faculty of Law, University of Hong Kong; Journal of Chinese Political Science (2012) 17

Table of Contents

1. Bringing the Chinese Communist Party Back In 2. The Chinese Communist Party as Organizational Emperor: identity, culture and politics 3. From Individual to Organization: the transformation of the emperorship 4. Elite Politics and Power Succession: institutions, rules, and norms 5. The Party Domination of the State 6. Hegemonization over Social Forces: domination and legitimacy 7. The CCP Party School: discourse, action and hegemony 8. The Organizational Emperorship, Transformation and China’s Democratic Future

About the Author

Books (in English)

  1. Technological Empowerment: The Internet, the State and Society in China, Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2008.
  2. De Facto Federalism in China: Reforms and Dynamics of Central-Local Relations, Singapore and London: World Scientific Publishing, 2007
  3. Globalization and State Transformation in China, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004 (cloth and paper editions). (This book is also in Chinese language.)
  4. Will China Become Democratic? Elite, Class, and Regime Transition, Singapore, London and New York: Eastern Universities Press, 2004.
  5. . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999 (cloth and paper editions). (This book is now also in Korean language.)

Edited volumes

  1. China’s Information and Communications Technology Revolution: Social changes and state responses, co-edited with Zhang Xiaoling, London: Routledge, 2009.
  2. China in the New International Order, co-edited with Wang Gungwu, London: Routledge, 2008.
  3. China’s Opening Society: The Non-State Sector and Governance, co-edited with Joseph Fewsmith, London: Routledge, 2008.
  4. Sources of Conflict and Cooperation in the Taiwan Strait, co-edited with Raymond Wu, Singapore and London: World Scientific, 2006.
  5. The Chinese Communist Party in Reform, co-edited with Kjeld Erik Brodsgaard, New York and London: Routledge, 2006.
  6. The SARS Epidemic: Challenges to China’s Crisis Management, co-edited with John Wong, Singapore and London: World Scientific, 2004.
  7. Bringing the Party Back In: The Party and Governance in China, co-edited with Kjeld Erik Brodsgaard, Singapore, London and New York, Eastern Universities Press, 2004.
  8. Damage Control: The Chinese Communist Party in the Jiang Zemin Era. Co-edited with Wang Gungwu. Singapore, London and New York: Eastern Universities Press, 2003.
  9. China’s Post-Jiang Leadership Succession: Problems and Perspectives. Co-edited with John Wong. London and Singapore: World Scientific/Singapore University Press, 2002.
  10. The Nanxun Legacy and China’s Development in the Post-Deng Era. Co-edited with John Wong. London and Singapore: World Scientific/Singapore University Press, 2001.
  11. Reform, Legitimacy and Dilemmas: Politics and Society in China. Co-edited with Wang Gungwu. London and Singapore: World Scientific/Singapore University Press, 2000.

About the Series

China Policy Series

With the rise of China and its impact on the world, interest in China has increased drastically in recent years. This series focuses on policy-oriented research and scholarly works with policy implications, on all aspects of contemporary Chinese economy, politics, society, environment, journalism and cultures.  It also covers China’s foreign relations with major international organizations such as the United Nations, World Trade Organization, and World Bank, and major powers such as the United States, European Union (and its member states), Japan and others.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / Communism & Socialism
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General