Thursday, November 10, 2022
4:00pm – 5:30pm
McKinney Conference Room, 111 Thayer Street
Reception to follow
This talk will first discuss strategies dictators use to minimize the chance of an elite coup against them. Although elite politics in China in the 1980s was characterized by power sharing, rehabilitated veterans did not want internal challenges to their spheres of influence. Thus, instead of favoring officials slightly younger than them or well-connected princelings, they opted to promote a large number of politically unconnected technocrats to senior positions. Meanwhile, princelings faced resistance to their promotion, especially those who sought positions in Beijing. The result of this decentralized "coalition of the weak" strategy was that by the 2000s, few princelings were still in the running for top positions. Those who were left could draw on their vast networks of princelings, especially princelings in the PLA, in their competition with less-connected technocrats. This created the structural conditions for Xi's complete domination of the party soon after taking power.
Moderated by Tyler Jost