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China Scholarship Digest #24: June 2023 Publications

A monthly list of new China-related academic research.

Articles published in June 2023

71 journals scanned

87 articles from 31 journals found

Chinese Studies

Journal of Contemporary China

China Quarterly

"In China, government at all levels relies on the specially selected graduates (SSG) scheme to recruit elite university students as future political leaders. This article examines the mechanism of the SSG scheme and the relationship between elite university education and political selection in China. We show that elite education is increasingly stratified, such that graduates from top elite universities have significant selection advantages in the SSG competition and are more likely to be offered incentives and preferences. We argue that taking elite university education as a hard eligibility criterion reinforces the homophily effects in selection of future political elites and strengthens the political influence of top elite universities on China's politics. Further, because poor and lower-class students have little chance of entering elite universities, the SSG does not provide an effective route of upward mobility for non-elite classes. Merit-based political recruitment as a channel of upward mobility for non-elite classes is largely an illusion."
"Chinese state capitalism may be transitioning towards a technology-assisted variant that we call “surveillance state capitalism.” The mechanism driving this development is China's corporate social credit system (CSCS) – a data-driven project to evaluate the “trustworthiness” of all business entities in the country. In this paper, we provide the first empirical analysis of CSCS scores in Zhejiang province, as the Zhejiang provincial government is to date the only local government to publish the scores of locally registered firms. We find that while the CSCS is ostensibly a means of measuring legal compliance, politically connected firms receive higher scores. This result is driven by a “social responsibility” category in the scoring system that valorizes awards from the government and contributions to causes sanctioned by the Chinese Communist Party. Our analysis underscores the potential of the CSCS to nudge corporate fealty to party-state policy and provides an early window into the far-reaching potential implications of the CSCS."

Modern China

China: An International Journal

"This article argues that ideological changes of the Communist Party of China follow a layering model, whereby a new discourse developed by each top leader adds a fresh layer to the existing ideological system. Computerised text analysis of college materials for ideology courses from 1978 to 2018 lends support to this model, quantifying the changes over time in the prevalence of each layer in the Party’s ideology. Marxism, Maoism and Dengism have remained as the foundational and dominant components of the ideological system, even during the ascent of Xi Jinping Thought and nationalistic narratives."
"In the absence of multiparty electoral competition, it is challenging to assess popular support for the Communist Party of China. Existing methods rely on unidimensional measures which are often reduced to a simple dichotomy of high or low support, therefore missing a measure for ambivalence. This study argues that party support in China has two dimensions. The specific dimension is trust in the Party, while the diffuse one is endorsement of one-party rule. The study therefore identifies three attitudes towards the Party—support, ambivalence and dissent— and concludes that popular support for the ruling party is weaker than the Party itself has claimed it to be."

Asian Studies

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