Communist party membership and regime dynamics in China

Yanjie Bian, Xiaoling Shu, John R. Logan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

90 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article uses event history analyses to examine how the criteria of political screening and educational credentials evolve in the attainment of Chinese Communist Party membership during the period between 1949 and 1993 and how party membership, in turn, influences individual mobility into elite political and managerial positions. We argue that political screening is a persistent feature and a survival strategy of all Communist parties and that the mechanisms of ensuring political screening are affected by the regime's agendas in different historical periods. Using data from surveys conducted in Shanghai and Tianjin in 1993, we found that measures of political screening were persistently significant predictors of party membership attainment in all post-1949 periods and that party membership is positively associated with mobility into positions of political and managerial authority during the post-1978 reform era. Education emerged to be a significant predictor of Communist party membership in the post-1978 period. These findings indicate that China has made historical shifts to recruit among the educated to create a technocratic elite that is both occupationally competent and politically screened.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)805-841
Number of pages37
JournalSocial Forces
Volume79
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001

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Communist party membership and regime dynamics in China. / Bian, Yanjie; Shu, Xiaoling; Logan, John R.

In: Social Forces, Vol. 79, No. 3, 01.01.2001, p. 805-841.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Bian, Yanjie ; Shu, Xiaoling ; Logan, John R. / Communist party membership and regime dynamics in China. In: Social Forces. 2001 ; Vol. 79, No. 3. pp. 805-841.
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