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A Middle Class Without Democracy: Economic Growth and the by Jie Chen

By Jie Chen

What sort of position can the center category play in power democratization in such an undemocratic, past due constructing state as China? to respond to this profound political in addition to theoretical query, Jie Chen explores attitudinal and behavioral orientation of China's new heart type to democracy and democratization. Chen's paintings relies on a special set of knowledge gathered from a probability-sample survey and in-depth interviews of citizens in 3 significant chinese language towns, Beijing, Chengdu and Xi'an--each of which represents a different point of financial improvement in city China-in 2007 and 2008. The empirical findings derived from this information set ascertain that (1) in comparison to different social periods, rather decrease sessions, the recent chinese language center class-especially these hired within the nation apparatus-tends to be extra supportive of the present Party-state yet much less supportive of democratic values and associations; (2) the recent center class's attitudes towards democracy will be accounted for by way of this class's shut ideational and institutional ties with the country, and its perceived socioeconomic wellness, between different elements; (3) the shortcoming of help for democracy one of the center classification has a tendency to reason this social type to behave in prefer of the present country yet against democratic adjustments.

an important political implication is that whereas China's heart category isn't really prone to function the harbinger of democracy now, its present attitudes towards democracy may perhaps swap sooner or later. the sort of an important shift within the center class's orientation towards democracy can ensue, specifically while its dependence at the Party-state decreases and notion of its personal social and financial statuses turns pessimistic. the main theoretical implication from the findings means that the attitudinal and behavioral orientations of the center class-as a complete and as a part-toward democratic switch in overdue constructing nations are contingent upon its courting with the incumbent kingdom and its perceived social/economic wellness, and the center class's help for democracy in those international locations is much from inevitable.

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Extra resources for A Middle Class Without Democracy: Economic Growth and the Prospects for Democratization in China

Sample text

Such a wide variation has apparently been caused by the contingency of the middle classes’ orientations toward democratization and democracy. More important, this contingency seems to result from several key socioeconomic and political conditions that are considered unique to the developing countries (or late and late-late developers, which will be defined later in this chapter). One of these conditions or factors is the prominent role played by the states in these countries—particularly during the major socioeconomic transformations—in creating and shaping the new social classes, such as the new middle classes, new entrepreneurs, and new working classes.

The analysis of this issue is important because such behavioral consequences have direct implications for the future of the political system, as well as the sustainability of the current party-state in contemporary China. In this chapter, I first examine the forms and intensity of political participation by middle-class individuals in an urban setting. Then, I closely examine how the middle class’s attitudes toward democracy variably influence each form of political participation and behavior. The findings about this issue will help us verify the last proposition, namely, that the low level of democratic support among the middle class tends to cause this class to 28 A MIDDLE CLASS WITHOUT DEMOCRACY act in favor of the current authoritarian state but in opposition to democratic change.

To test the hypothesis, I explore two dimensions of this connection: institutional and ideational. The institutional dimension is measured by middle-class individuals’ memberships with the Communist Party and their employment in the state sector, while the ideational connection is gauged by the beliefs of middle-class members in the values/norms promoted by the government led by the CCP. Meanwhile, I examine the effects of other key variables—such as sociodemographic attributes of the middle class and its perceived socioeconomic well-being—on this class’s attitudes toward democracy.

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