Keeping in Touch: Tools and Strategies for Chinese Local Cadres to Avoid Disconnection From Citizens

Conference: AAS-in-Asia2020 (AAS-in-Asia2020)
Title: Keeping in Touch: Tools and Strategies for Chinese Local Cadres to Avoid Disconnection From Citizens
Stream: Political Sciences
Presentation Type: Panel Presentation
Authors:
Emilie Frenkiel, International School of Political Studies, France (organizer, presenter)
Jinrui Xi, Tongji University, China (chair, presenter)
Adam Liu, National University of Singapore, Singapore (presenter, discussant)
Yunyun Zhou, Oxford University, United Kingdom (presenter)
Pu Yan, University of Oxford, United Kingdom (presenter)
Lei Wang, National University of Singapore, Singapore (presenter)

Abstract:

With the Open and Reform policy, the CCP has gradually shifted from a revolutionary party claiming to represent workers and peasants to a ruling party claiming to represent the whole Chinese nation, with a noticeable elitist twist. The Chinese society has simultaneously grown more unequal, to a point which could become threatening for the legitimacy of the CCP. When the anti-corruption campaign was launched, the current leadership urged Party cadres to change their attitude and reconnect with the citizens. Xi Jinping referred to the Maoist theory of the mass line (qunzhong luxian) the guiding method of consulting the masses, collecting their opinions and eventually formulating them into state policies. This panel investigates the current instruments which the CCP uses to connect local cadres with Chinese citizens: expression of responsiveness, participatory devices, social media and so on. We will wonder if it is right to consider them as updated versions of the Maoist mass line or if they are a whole new brand of governance instruments.