Chen Xuelian, M.A.

Chen Xuelian is a doctoral candidate at the Asia-Orient-Institute’s Division of Chinese and Korean Studies since 2005. She has earned an M.A. in Sociology from Anhui University in 2002 and has worked as an Assistant Research Fellow at the China Center for Comparative Politics & Economics in Beijing.

From Efficiency to Legitimacy: Political Reforms and Public Responses in the Local Chinese State

According to conventional wisdom, economic growth undermines repressive regimes. In China, however, the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been able to sustain 30 years of economic development while maintaining the central features of a one-party state. The prevailing explanation of the durability of CCP rule is that economic performance-based legitimacy results in political stabilization. In this Ph.D. project, systematic empirical research on different political reforms in the local Chinese state is conducted and their legitimacy-building effects measured. It is hypothesized that local political reform is generating more legal-rational legitimacy for CCP rule, which explains the resilience of CCP authoritarianism.