China Government and Political
1. How "strong" is the Chinese state? Be able to define state capacity and discuss how to measure it. Consider the capacity of the state to extract revenue and use it intended ways. Is state strength the same across all policy arenas? What are some structural obstacles to policy implementation?
2. Authoritarian regimes often struggle with building institutions to select leaders and address policy making/policy conflict. How resilient is China's authoritarian regime in the post-Mao period? Be able to define authoritarian resilience and discuss how to assess it. Is leadership selection shaped by merit or factional ties? Is the answer the same at the central and local levels? Consider the "cadre evaluation system" of targets to evaluate and reward leading cadres at the local levels. What institutions allow for popular political participation? To what extent do they contribute to regime resilience? Why would a single-party regime invest in laws, lawyers, and courts?
3. What is the nature of civil society in China? Be able to define civil society and discuss how to assess it empirically. Be able to relate China's situation to the ideal types of pluralism and corporatism. Consider both "brick and mortar" and "virtual" civil society. What is the relationship between civil society and democratization in the Chinese case? What is the relationship between civil society and provision of social needs in the Chinese case?