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National Integrity, Elites and Democracy: Russia and China Compared


Pakulski, J and He, B, National Integrity, Elites and Democracy: Russia and China Compared, The Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics, 15, (2) pp. 69-87. ISSN 1352-3279 (1999) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1080/13523279908415406


Russia faces problems of democratic consolidation, that is, strengthening the democratic institutions and practices that have already been introduced. China faces the prospect of democratic transition and 'creeping democratization'. Both processes are dependent on the same set of factors and conditions. The prospects of securing democracy in Russia and initiating democratic transition in China depend, first, on the solution of national boundary and identity problems; second, on the control of ethno-national fissions; and third, on elites in both countries achieving a consensus that will facilitate the effective management of conflicts and reforms. While the political developments in Russia illustrate the paradox of democratization', whereby initial democratic reforms encourage ethnic separatism and trigger an anti-democratic backlash, the Chinese developments illustrate the 'paradox of partocracy'. Elite unification in China has paved the way for economic reforms essential to the communist elite's security and credibility. These very reforms, however, undermine the partocratic regimes by speeding up elite differentiation, eroding ideological unity and encouraging consensus seeking, thereby paving the way for 'creeping democratization'.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Social change
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Government and politics
Objective Field:Government and politics not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Pakulski, J (Professor Jan Pakulski)
UTAS Author:He, B (Associate Professor Baogang He)
ID Code:16335
Year Published:1999
Deposited By:Sociology and Social Work
Deposited On:1999-08-01
Last Modified:2000-06-07

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