China’s foreign and security policy institutions and decision-making under Xi Jinping

Jean-Pierre Cabestan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Power concentration in the hands of Xi Jinping, Chinese Communist Party General Secretary, can be interpreted not only as a reaction to the power fragmentation and the intra-party factionalism that developed under his predecessor, but also as a way to strengthen and stabilise China’s authoritarian polity. In the realm of foreign and security policy, it can also be understood as the result of China’s awareness of both the growing transnational security risks that it is facing and the need to better address the new international tasks and responsibilities it needs to fulfil as a great power. Since 2012, Xi has embarked on sweeping institutional reforms that have contributed to centralising and better coordinating foreign and security decision-making. Yet, although more integrated, China’s authoritarian system has remained fragmented, including in the realm of foreign and security policy, an area where decision-making processes are still highly opaque.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-336
Number of pages18
JournalBritish Journal of Politics and International Relations
Issue number2
Early online date10 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - May 2021

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

User-Defined Keywords

  • authoritarian polity
  • China
  • Chinese Communist Party
  • decision-making
  • foreign policy
  • integrated fragmentation
  • leading small groups
  • security policy
  • Xi Jinping


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