Chinesestyle democracy as a political project for meaning-construction: Old wine in a new bottle?

Benson Wai Kwok Wong*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Drawn from the textual data in the online and printed media from mainland China and Hong Kong, this article aims to identify and feature how Chinese-style democracy is constructed by engaging in discourse analysis, arguing that China-style democracy is not a political experiment aiming to critically reflect upon the weaknesses of democracy in conceptual and procedural aspects, and not a creative project focusing on how the Chinese experiences can refresh and reframe the conventional wisdom. Instead, it is a meaning-construction project surrounding the following themes explored: (1) negative Western democracy versus positive Chinese-style democracy in terms of efficiency, (2) Western democracy as the symbol ofpolitical failure, such as street politics, domestic struggles, chaos, (3) positivity of Chinese-style democracy with China's rise brought by reform and opening-up since 1978, and (4) perverting the language of Western democracy to construct Chinese-style democracy, such as rule of law, human rights. Specialty, uniqueness and adaption, in the main, are the common ground during the process of meaning reconstruction, with the intention to conduct the political performance for an undemocratic, illiberal and autocratic regime.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)819-847
Number of pages29
JournalContemporary Chinese Political Economy and Strategic Relations: An International Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Political Science and International Relations

User-Defined Keywords

  • Chinesestyle democracy
  • Discourse analysis
  • Efficiency
  • Stability
  • Street politics
  • Western democracy


Dive into the research topics of 'Chinesestyle democracy as a political project for meaning-construction: Old wine in a new bottle?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this